R82m unoccupied Mayibuye Primary School: Gauteng depts, City of Joburg meet to resolve issues

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Running sewage from outside Mayibuye Primary School.
Running sewage from outside Mayibuye Primary School.
Sesona Ngqakamba, News24
  • The SAHRC met with various Gauteng departments on Tuesday to find a way forward in relation to the unoccupied Mayibuye Primary School in Midrand.
  • The school was previously unoccupied following reports that it was built on a wetland, as well as an issue with running sewage.
  • Commitments were made that may see the school operational in the 2021 academic year.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) met with various Gauteng departments on Tuesday to find solutions which would see the currently unoccupied R82 million Mayibuye Primary School in Midrand operational in the 2021 academic year.

SAHRC Gauteng head Buang Jones told News24 that the commission met with the Gauteng Department of Education, the Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) and the City of Johannesburg to iron out a way forward.

Issues at the school

News24 previously reported that, according to a report by the City, the school was constructed in contravention of the National Building Regulations and Building Standard Act 103, 1977, as amended and the site was waterlogged.  

The report also stated that a certificate of occupancy could not be issued because building plans had not been submitted and approved. 

It was also reported that Mayibuye Primary School had remained unoccupied for the past three years due to a sewage leak which ran from outside the facility throughout the premises.

READ | Unoccupied R82m primary school in Midrand not built on a wetland, says SAHRC

The SAHRC visited the school earlier this month and said there was no credence to the reports that the school was built on a wetland.

Jones previously said:

"Our initial assessment is that there is no credence to allegations that the school is built on a wetland; there is a sewage line currently leaking, which is adjacent to the school."

"The sewage leakage is continuously running, and this is something that really concerns us given that this falls within the competence of the City of Johannesburg."

Outcomes of meeting

The purpose of the meeting on Tuesday was to determine bottlenecks, stumbling blocks, hindrances and the causes that had led to the school not being finished on time, within schedule, within budget and within scope, Jones said.

He added that the meeting was constructive, solution orientated and led to a number of undertakings and commitments by the City and the various departments.

The DID have undertaken to urgently meet with the contractor to attend to issues pertaining to the contract as well as to engage with the City on the building plans which have still not been approved.

The DID will also make a submission to the provincial treasury for additional funding to finish the project.

The City has committed to fast tracking the approval processes within the ambit of the law and have already attended to the blockages which caused the overflow of sewage into the school.

The City will continue to monitor for any further spillages.

Treasury have undertaken to consider the submission by DID for additional funds while the Department of Education in the province have supported all the submissions made and approved additional monies for the school.

Jones said the commission was happy with the outcomes of the meeting and hoped that the completion of the school would be urgently attended to as soon as the other processes had been finalised.

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