School's '18-month renovation' still incomplete 7 years later

2020-02-29 11:44
Learners at dilapidated Lemana High School are waiting for renovations to be completed at Lemana Mission before they can move to that school. (Bernard Chiguvare, GroundUp)

Learners at dilapidated Lemana High School are waiting for renovations to be completed at Lemana Mission before they can move to that school. (Bernard Chiguvare, GroundUp)

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Renovations at Lemana Mission to replace the Lemana High School in Louis Trichardt, Limpopo, started in 2013. It was supposed to be an 18-month project. Seven years later it was still not done.

Meanwhile, the old high school struggled to maintain a conducive environment for learning, reports GroundUp.

Mary Ringanai of the Lemana High school governing body (SGB) said: "We are planning to take it upon ourselves to complete the renovations as this is taking time while our children are learning under very bad conditions."

Sam Makondo from the Limpopo Department of Education said the first contractor Bankuna Construction started work in 2013, but went into liquidation and was terminated in 2015.

Lilithalethu Trading, the second contractor, started work in 2018, but work was disrupted by labour disputes. Makondo said the completion date will be determined by when the workers returned to work.

Jimmy Miyeni, a member of the Lemana School management team, said Lilithalethu was meant to complete the work by April.

Workers who worked for Bankuna and who were then employed by Lilithalethu were demanding money they were owed for the work they did under Bankuna.

Lemana Mission was still partly a building site. Classroom blocks were almost complete, but stacks of bricks and building material were standing around an incomplete school hall. Electricity has yet to be installed. There were no furniture in the classrooms.

Meanwhile, Lemana High School was in poor condition. The road to it was impassable when it rained and caused learners to stay home. Some classroom roofs leaked. In some, the ceilings were caving in. There was no school library.

A Grade 9 learner said: "Usually when it rains, I have to stand for the rest of the period because my spot leaks. The situation has been like this for many years."

The school had about 500 learners.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  education
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