GP education department takes aim at asbestos schools

2019-06-18 21:02
Pupils sit next to broken asbestos walls in the classroom. (File, The Witness)

Pupils sit next to broken asbestos walls in the classroom. (File, The Witness)

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The Gauteng Department of Education says it remains committed to doing away with all asbestos schools in the province.

According to the department's spokesperson, Steve Mabona, a Westbury school that was constructed of asbestos had been refurbished.

On Tuesday, IOL reported that the province had 29 schools that were entirely constructed of asbestos. Six of the schools are in Tshwane, while the ones that are built partially of asbestos are in Mamelodi, Bronkhorstspruit and Hammanskraal.  

"We are committed to tearing down all asbestos schools and wish to reiterate that we will do away with all asbestos and mobile schools by 2023," said Mabona.

The report by IOL stated that Equal Education said it had doubts that the province would meet its 2020 deadline to be compliant with the Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure.

Mabona said the promise of doing away with classrooms, which might pose a danger to teachers and pupils, was reiterated in the department's 2019-2024 road-map session, where Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi addressed teachers, pupils and school governing body members, outlining the department's plans for the next five years.

Last September, about 50 Equal Education members picketed outside the department's offices in Marshalltown, central Johannesburg, demanding that the replacement of all classrooms built, both entirely and partially, from asbestos be prioritised, GroundUp reported.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education  |  service delivery

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