DoE seeks new district facilities

2018-11-09 06:01
PHOTOS: siphelele nketo(Left image) Members of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature and other government officials inspecting Mount Curry High facilities. (Right image) The building currently being used by DoE as their district offices.

PHOTOS: siphelele nketo(Left image) Members of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature and other government officials inspecting Mount Curry High facilities. (Right image) The building currently being used by DoE as their district offices.

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AT a heated meeting between members of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature, Department of Education, and Department of Public Works officials, it was suggested that the Department of Education (DoE) Harry Gwala district offices at No.8 Main Street, Kokstad, be moved to new facilities next year. This comes as the contract between the DoE and the property-owner is set to come to an end on January 31, 2019.

At the meeting, held in the district offices in Kokstad on Tuesday morning, the matter of the property-owner who was not paid for renovations to the facility was robustly discussed. No one wanted to be held accountable for the money owed to the property-owner.

DoE officials said renovations were authorised by the Department of Public Works and the members of the legislature requested documents confirming renovations, however no documents were made available during the meeting.

The members of the legislature warned DoE officials to be fully prepared when attending meetings that would require accountability and ordered the DoE to pay the money.

DoE Harry Gwala district director Sindi Zakuza-Njakazi made it clear at the meeting that she occupied the position in February last year and was not aware of some agreements that were previously made by DoE.

She added that the facility is not favourable for the staff because there is not enough space.

“In winter, the facility is extremely cold, and it gets extremely hot in summer,” she said.

In chairing the meeting, Mbali Fraizer, the Department of Public Works Portfolio Committee chairperson, said they had received a letter from the property-owner claiming he had not been paid by the DoE after renovations were done and they had decided to visit Kokstad.

“As the committee, we are concerned about the DoE offices after we had received the letter from the landlord and we also want to check working conditions of the facility. We have agreed that the landlord’s money be paid as soon as possible,” said Fraizer, who was unsure about the value of the money owed to the landlord.

She said that in some areas government is renting properties that are not used and they will be working hard to ensure that all government facilities are being used.

The matter of allocating DoE district offices to Mount Currie High facilities was discussed and members of the committee also visited the school for site inspection.

“As the Department of Public Works, we are the custodians of all government buildings in the province; we ensure that they are in good order. We have suggested that the district offices be relocated to Mount Currie High when the lease agreement ends next year and this will save on expenses,” said Kiru Naidoo, the head of communications from KwaZulu-Natal Department of Public Works.

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