Desperate Scottsville Primary appeals for nearby abandoned bowls club property

2013-08-21 00:00

SCOTTSVILLE Primary School pupils playing tennis next to the old bowling club in King Edward Avenue were exposed to the sight of a naked man having a bath.

The man continued with his ablutions unbothered by the gawking pupils, who were forced to abandon their game.

The man was one of several vagrants who recently returned to live in the old Scottsville Bowling Club property.

For the school community, the naked man was the last straw.

He was the final insult to their years of injury as they struggled to get the Msunduzi Municipality to heed their pleas and grant them a lease on the property.

The school, whose pupil population has grown and has nowhere else to expand, has been making representations to the municipality for the past eight years to take over the property.

The school has since learnt that it is but one of nine applicants who want to lease the property. The other applications want to use the land for business purposes, a hotel, and a training and conference centre.

Scottsville School principal Bobby Nefdt is hoping that the current council will be mindful when assessing their application to lease the property.

“We don’t have a choice,” he said. “Businesses can go anywhere, but major costs are involved in the re-location or building of new schools.”

With Pietermaritzburg being the KZN capital and the seat of the provincial government, the school is finding that most of their pupils have working parents. Nefdt said there is demand for an after-school care centre.

The school, in its application for a lease, proposed that the old clubhouse on the property would be renovated to be used as an aftercare facility to accommodate more than 270 pupils. The grounds would be developed into a full-sized football and hockey field.

The school’s numbers have grown from 600 to over 1 000 and their facilities have not been able to expand to keep pace with the increase in pupil population.

Msunduzi municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma acknowledged the delay, caused by council carrying out a land audit. He said a proposal will be going before council shortly on properties that will be released for development.

Zuma said currently there are nine applications for the property, all of which will have to be carefully considered.

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