Heather wall may fall

2019-02-15 14:35
A severely damaged wall that surrounds a community hall next to Heather Secondary School is leaning towards the pavement. It has been cordoned off. PHOTO: kerushun pillay

A severely damaged wall that surrounds a community hall next to Heather Secondary School is leaning towards the pavement. It has been cordoned off. PHOTO: kerushun pillay

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Large walls surrounding a community hall attached to Heather Secondary School are leaning at an angle, and the community believes they will soon collapse.

A letter to parents sent by school management warns of “an extreme danger” regarding the walls at Heather Hall, and advises people to refrain from walking on the pavement or parking cars alongside the hall.

The hall itself, which is not damaged, is open to the community, and Heather Secondary uses it for functions and special assemblies.

The area around the hall has been cordoned off with chevron tape.

A wall outside the school is leaning towards the pavement and there are visible deep cracks in it.

The letter to parents said it appears “likely to fall over in the near future”.

Another wall, which is on school property facing the parking lot, also looks set to fall over, the letter said.

Both walls have the words “danger: wall falling” spray-painted on them.

The letter continued: “Learners and others make regular use of this pavement to and from school. These pedestrians face the danger of having these walls collapse onto them. It is believed that cars that park alongside the curb … are within reach of the walls if they collapse.”

The school has since 2015 sent several letters and photographs to the hall’s owner, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), asking for it to intervene to no avail.

Sources at the school said the recent collapse of a walkway at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark, which killed four pupils, led to the decision to send a clear warning to the school community.

“We have been sending regular e-mails to the department. These walls could fall and injure someone,” one source said.

The school’s governing body chairperson, Pearl Pillay, said there are serious concerns that the walls could collapse.

“With the weather we’ve had recently there’s no telling what can happen. There was serious devastation in some areas in recent rains so we don’t want to take chances.

“Our concern is the safety of our pupils and the public and that is why we’ve decided to put tape around the walls.”

The area’s councillor, Claudell Chetty, said: “I have done a site visit and an e-mail was sent to me from the principal of the school.

“I sent an e-mail to the relevant official at the DAC, [but have still had] no response on this serious concern to the [safety of] pupils of Heather Secondary School.

“Something needs to be done as soon as possible. If the department is not repairing the wall, it needs to be demolished.”

The KZN DAC did not respond to a query on Thursday.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg
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