Eastern Cape dept to probe bungled classroom building project

2017-02-17 22:25
Learners at Mdeni Senior Secondary School took to the highway today in protest against lack of classrooms. Photo: Palesa Zono, GroundUp

Learners at Mdeni Senior Secondary School took to the highway today in protest against lack of classrooms. Photo: Palesa Zono, GroundUp

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Port Elizabeth – The Eastern Cape education department will investigate the alleged mismanagement of a building project at a school in Alice, which resulted in pupils blocking a road in protest.

“While the concerns of the contractor are receiving urgent attention, I have asked departmental officials to investigate this matter so that those responsible for mismanaging this project are held accountable,” department head Themba Kojana said on Friday.

Department spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima said new classrooms had been built for the Mdeni Senior Secondary School, but that they could not be used because the contractor had not been paid and had not handed over the keys.

He said the department had been working on the issue since September.  

“Due to a breakdown in communication the contractor was not paid on time and this resulted in the service provider locking classrooms and denying learners access to the building,” Mtima said.

The department and the contractor came to an agreement and the locks were opened.

Kojana said it was regrettable that the situation had to reach that point.

He said he would ask residents’ permission to tear down the old structure so more classes could be built to accommodate the increase in admissions.

Parents from the villages of Ncerha, Ngqele, and Balaksini built the school in the 1970s, GroundUp reported on Wednesday.

Grade 12 pupil Sikelelwa Zidayi said the walls were collapsing, the floors were broken, and the roof was leaking.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  education

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