R80m school renovation halted

2019-08-07 06:01
Ward 10 councillor, Andy Jordan, at the incomplete David Livingstone School in Schauderville, where construction has recently been halted.                    Photo:KAILIN DANIELS

Ward 10 councillor, Andy Jordan, at the incomplete David Livingstone School in Schauderville, where construction has recently been halted. Photo:KAILIN DANIELS

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THE construction of the R80 million renovation project at the David Livingstone School in Schauderville has come to a standstill.

This was due to alleged non-payments to GVK-Siya Zama Construction from the Department of Public Works, which receives its funding from the Education Department. GVK-Siya Zama has since pulled the plug on the project.

Ward 10 councillor, Andy Jordan, said the construction was halted at one stage due to non-payment from Public Works, which is the implementing agent. However, the construction company has now completely withdrawn from the contract.

The construction of the two-and-a-half year project started in early 2017, and the completion was scheduled for this year.

According to Jordan, the learners are currently educated in temporary mobile classrooms, with most rooms and toilet floors caving in.

“The learners were now supposed to move to the new school. This is unacceptable and has a negative impact on all the learners. They are being taught in classrooms that are cold, especially now during the winter months.

“The floors can only take so much, as they are giving in due to moisture around the classrooms,” Jordan said.

David Livingstone School was identified as one of the schools in Port Elizabeth where renovations needed to take place.

The school needed alterations as some areas on the premises were not up to standard for the educators and learners.

Jordan said the project coming to a standstill also affected small businesses in the area, which could have benefited from the R80 million project.

The community has expressed their concern saying that the incomplete school poses a risk to their safety as criminal activities will take place at the vacant school.

Jordan added, “This will become a security problem as criminal elements will steal materials that have already been fitted and installed so far. The community fear for their safety and thought the school would be complete by now.

“The learners are also very anxious to get back to their newly-built school.

“There is rubble and sand that obviously blows all over the school, as well as into the classrooms. However, no one knows how long this project will stand idle.”

Nothing has been communicated with the parties involved, besides the withdrawal of GVK-Siya Zama Construction.

A spokesperson for the department of Public Works referred PE Express to GVK-Siya Zama Construction for comment.

GVK-Siya Zama spokesperson, Amelia Keefer, confirmed that the contract had unfortunately been suspended due to circumstances beyond their control. However, they remained in ongoing consultation with the client to resolve the matter.

Keefer said, “The contractor understands administrative complexity at government level and remains committed to collectively find solutions for the problem and ultimately deliver the school to the local community.”

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