Tembisa schools suffer due to overcrowding, while GDE abandons a school with 50 classrooms

Learners in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni continue to be taught in overcrowded classrooms which are not conducive to learning and teaching, while the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has abandoned a school with 50 classrooms.

The abandoned school is situated at Birch Acres and the value of the project is R36 million.

The DA is concerned that the longer this school remains abandoned it will become vulnerable to vandalism and looting of the infrastructure.

During the DA’s oversight inspection at the school, we were disappointed to discover that there was no construction taking place at the site.

We have been reliably informed that the contractor abandoned the project without paying its employees and the sub-contractors. The reasons why the contractor abandoned the project are still unknown.

Community members have raised their frustration with the DA stating that their children struggle to get school admissions, while there is an incomplete school at their disposal that can help ease overcrowding in schools around the area.

See images here, here and here.

This incomplete brick-and-mortar school is one of many incomplete school projects across the province.

Failure to complete the construction of schools within the required timelines has resulted in severe overcrowding in schools and some learners being forced to commute to and from school to access quality education. This is costing parents more in terms of transport fees.

For far too long, the DA has been proposing that the GDE should take over the building of schools from the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management which has been failing to finish the projects on time and within budget.

The DA will write to the Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi demanding answers on why GDE has not been given the mandate to build its own schools as it has a good track record of handling its own projects.

We will also be tabling questions to the Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane, in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to ascertain why the contractor abandoned the project and when will the project be completed.