Tornado victims receive aid

2020-02-05 06:01
The old building that is used by more than 120 pupils. photo: supplied

The old building that is used by more than 120 pupils. photo: supplied

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THE three new mobile classes that are currently being built at Kameelhoek Primary School will provide interim relief to over 120 pupils at the school in New Hanover.

The school is among the areas that were left destitute after a tornado left a trail of destruction on its path, damaging houses at Mpolweni in November last year. Among the victims affected in the tornado were more than 120 pupils from Kameelhoek Primary School. The aim of the visit was to fast track-track development in rural schools.

There are three rooms that are shared by 125 pupils from Grade R to Grade 7. When the tornado struck New Hanover and surroundings, children were forced to learn under the trees until the damaged awnings were replaced.

However, the plight of the school will soon come to an end as the Public Works Department in partnership with uMshwathi Municipality intervened.

Mayor of uMshwathi Municipality Musa Zondi and Member of Parliament Thandiwe Zungu visited the school on Thursday, January 30.

Zondi said after the heavy storm hit KZN last year - leaving many people destitute and some wounded in Mpolweni, his team conducted an oversight visits to the areas.

“We discovered that the school was affected. Thereafter, a Member of Parliament was sent to work with us in the uMshwathi area. Today [January 30] we donated school uniforms and shoes to 20 pupils.

“We are pleased that the building of the three temporal classrooms is underway. Workers are currently on site finalising the building of he three mobile classes,” Zondi said.

The school is situated in the outskirts on New Hanover. With the enrolment of over 120 pupils, the rooms were built around 1950s.

Principal Xolani Gigaba said: “After heavy storms damaged our school, the members of the school governing body decided to replace the roof because pupils were learning under the trees. We lost many things including office equipment.

“At the moment pupils are learning in cramped classrooms that are also being used as a kitchen for the school,” Gigaba said.

Spokesperson for Umshwathi Municipality Sbusiso Mkhithi said: “The school mostly consist of the pupils from disadvantaged families. It is one of the schools that was affected by the tornado.

“We came to the school to see the damage caused by the tornado then we saw that some of the pupils didn’t have school shoes. We are really grateful that we managed to get assistance from one the members of the Parliament Thandiwe ‘Fucwana’ Zungu.”

Zungu said: “Assisting those in need is something that runs in my veins and it makes me happy to be able to contribute towards someone’s life. Helping is a blessing and it gives hope to others,”Zungu said.

Councillor Fastiz Mbongwe said seeing what a municipality is doing for the pupils was a great pleasure for him.

“It really gives hope as Zungu said. One day it is going to be one of the pupils providing for others.

“As the school was affected by the tornado, the material to build the classes is on site and the process is running smooth. There are three mobile classes that are going to be built.”

Among the people attending the function were, Mayor of Umshwathi Municipality Mandla Zondi, Fastiz Mbongwe (Ward 9 councillor), Member of Parliament Thandiwe Zungu (MPL), Nokuthula Mdunge (Speaker) and other guests.

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