Learners with special needs are denied access to quality education

The learners of Nokuthula LSEN School in Lyndhurst continue to be forced to commute to and from school and are denied access to reside at the school dormitories due to the Gauteng government’s failure to ensure that the school receives a permanent occupational certificate.

The parents are frustrated as they must pay the transport cost for their children to and from school and some private transport does not cater for their children’s special needs.

This is deeply concerning as the school dormitories are standing empty and gathering dust as they do not comply with the standard building regulations.

This state-of-the-art school is still operating on a temporary occupational certificate and its boarding school remains unoccupied.

The Acting Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development, Jacob Mamabolo and Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi will only be visiting Nokuthula LSEN School before mid-May to assess the school infrastructure, thereafter there will announce the roadmap and provide the answer on the estimated date and timelines for full compliance to ensure final occupation of the school.

This was revealed by MEC Mamabolo in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

This is a clear indication that there is no sense of urgency from the Gauteng Department of Education and the Department of Infrastructure Development to ensure that this school complies with the standard building regulations so that it can be issued with a permanent occupational certificate. This issue has been going on for many years and still no certainty on when the school will be fully occupied.

The DA demands that there must be consequence management to hold the officials and politicians involved in this school project accountable for the shoddy planning and workmanship during the construction of the school. MEC Lesufi must also speed up the investigation into allegations of corruption and mismanagement at the school.

Our children with special needs must not be deprived of an opportunity to access quality education. The DA will continue to use all mechanisms at our disposal to put pressure on all spheres of government to ensure that this school comply with the standard building regulations and is issued with a permanent occupational certificate.