Cape Town's Uitzig High School to close after years of vandalism, theft

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Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer. (Deon Raath, Netwerk24)
Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer. (Deon Raath, Netwerk24)

The long-running feud over whether Cape Town's dilapidated Uitzig High School should be repaired was settled by a court ruling confirming that the school must close and its pupils be moved to neighbouring schools, the Western Cape Education Department said on Monday.

"This is a victory for the learners of Uitzig High School, as they will now move to neighbouring schools where there are better facilities and resources," said Education MEC Debbie Schäfer.

The School Governing Body (SGB) had wanted the school to stay open and for the department to fix it, after it was repeatedly targeted by vandals and thieves. 

READ: SAHRC inspects conditions at vandalised Cape Town school

In October 2017, the department said it had already spent R453 517 on emergency repairs due to continued vandalism at the school, and an additional R2 699 298 on mobile classrooms.

Schäfer said she had decided to close the school, with the pupils' best interests in mind. 

She said court action by the SGB to try and stop the closure had delayed implementing the decision for almost two years.

The school's matric pass rate dropped from 70.6% in 2016 to 20% in 2017.

There are 87 pupils left at the school, 13 of whom are in matric. 

The current pupils would be accommodated at alternative schools in time for the start of the 2019 academic year, Schäfer said. The pupils could also apply for fee exemptions at their new schools, she added.

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