The DA calls on Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to urgently intervene at three schools in Diepsloot that are severely affected by water and sanitation challenges and a shortage of desks and chairs.
During my recent visit to three schools in the area, Paradise Bend Primary School, Diepsloot Primary School and Diepsloot Secondary School No. 2, l was shocked by the unsanitary and inhumane conditions that the learners are exposed to on a daily basis.
These schools are being affected by a low water pressure system, so there is barely a trickle of water emerging from the taps.
The schools’ toilets are not functioning as there is no water for flushing. Learners are relieving themselves at the back of the classrooms which is unhygienic and poses a health danger to these learners.
Paradise Bend Primary School’s infrastructure is old and dilapidated. The school is using mobile classrooms and needs to be rebuilt with brick and mortar.
The same goes for Diepsloot Secondary School No. 2 which is also using mobile classrooms. There are no smart boards in grade 11 and 12 classrooms due to the necessary infrastructure not being available in mobile classrooms. Some classrooms do not even have electricity connections.
This school is also facing a severe shortage of chairs and some learners are sitting on broken chairs without all the legs.
Access to water, sanitation and electricity is a basic human right as guaranteed by our constitution. It is deplorable that learners struggle to access such basic necessities while MEC Lesufi boasts about the state of school infrastructure in Gauteng Schools.
We need to realign our priorities to ensure that the basics are in place in all our schools.
MEC Lesufi must ensure that the schools’ water pipes are connected to the City of Johannesburg’s water system.
We will submit questions to establish the MEC’s plans to ensure that chairs are delivered to Diepsloot Secondary School No. 2, get plans on when Paradise Bend Primary will be rebuilt and when will all these schools get running water connected to municipal infrastructure.