'Snakes, pit toilets and holes in walls': Rotting school in the Eastern Cape shut down

2019-07-22 14:12
A pupil in class in Zanokhanyo Junior Secondary School in Butterworth in the Eastern Cape. (Sababaliwe Dadaboshe, GroundUp)

A pupil in class in Zanokhanyo Junior Secondary School in Butterworth in the Eastern Cape. (Sababaliwe Dadaboshe, GroundUp)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

On Monday, teachers and pupils shut down Zanokhanyo Junior Secondary School in Butterworth, Eastern Cape, GroundUp reported. The school, located in Zazulwana Village, has 471 learners.

Parents say the school was built 35 years ago with prefabricated materials. They say it is in an unacceptable condition and dangerous for their children. They also say the pit latrines are rotten and unsafe.

"Now these prefabs are rotten… We went to the Department of Education at the district level to ask them to build a school for us… We reported the matter at the provincial level. We were promised that they were going to check out the problem. It has been 12 years now, waiting for them to come with a solution," said Nobuntu Lavisa, a parent.

"The classrooms have holes in the walls… It is very cold and windy as we speak today," she said.


"These children are not safe in their school"


Community leader Sibabaliwe Dadaboshe said: "These children are not safe in their school. Why our government [only] wants to act when there is something that happened? I am saying this because, if a child can be hit by zinc [sheet] or pole here, government officials come running as if we did not report this matter."

She said that, every few weeks, snakes were found in the classrooms.

"Our school gets an annual maintenance budget, but it is very useless to maintain rotten material. Our school principal has been buying zincs so that he can fix those holes, but we stopped him. We stopped him because these zincs, when there is a heavy wind, they just fly, so it means they can hit people," she said.

Eastern Cape Pepartment of Education spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima said they had assessed the school. He said there was a "huge backlog" and insufficient funds.

"We currently have R73bn needed for this school and many more [in the Eastern Cape]," he said. But the department only had R1.5bn, he added.

"That is why we at times encourage the use of norms and standards maintenance budgets to plug holes and broken windows, as a stop gap measure, while the department is working with districts to reprioritise where necessary to ensure those in dire conditions get their schools first," said Mtima.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  education
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.