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WATCH: Soweto primary school falling apart – roofs collapsing, toilets broken

29 March, 10:58 AM

Ditau Primary School in Soweto is facing an infrastructural crisis.

Roofs are collapsing‚ walls are cracked, the bathrooms don't have running water and some of the classrooms have no electricity.

The Gauteng Department of Education confirmed that a team had been dispatched to assess the situation. Spokesperson Steve Mabona said repairs would be made urgently. 

"The process to repair the affected areas will take about four weeks to complete," he said. 

The Orlando East school is one of 29 schools in Gauteng built with asbestos – a heat resistant material used to insulate buildings. The substance is currently banned due to its various health hazards. 

Cancer and lung damage are some of the risks associated with materials containing asbestos. 

A set of regulations dealing with minimum uniform norms and standards for public school infrastructure was signed by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on November 29, 2013.

The document stipulates that any South African schools built with materials such as mud, wood, metal or asbestos be replaced by November 29, 2016.

When the department failed to meet the deadline, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi extended the date to 2020.

"We initially planned to rehabilitate the school (Ditau Primary School), however, after necessary assessments, it was decided that it must be eradicated accordingly. The Gauteng Department of Education has made budgetary provisions for a necessary intervention at the school," said Mabona in a statement.

According to Mabona, the department has plans to build a brick and mortar school. The project is currently in the design phase.

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