The DA has today visited Rust-Ter-Vaal Secondary school in Vereeniging to inspect progress made to upgrade the school from risky asbestos.
Last year Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi indicated that the project to upgrade the school to a brick and mortar structure was at the planning phase.
However, based on our visit, there is no indication that the school will be rebuilt any time soon. Some classrooms have no electricity, while others have broken windows and the building is riddled with cracks. Cracked and exposed asbestos poses a serious health risk.
Proper school infrastructure must be a priority. The Gauteng Department of Education has in the past failed to spend its allocated budget, and this year’s proposed budget has been significantly decreased. This will further hinder attempts to address the infrastructure backlog.
ICT classrooms at this school are also incomplete and have been since July last year. Teachers are finding it difficult to teach without smart boards as the old chalk boards were removed but not replaced.
The DA will table a motion in the Gauteng Legislature proposing that the MEC must do everything possible to eradicate all risky asbestos schools across Gauteng without delay, but that while asbestos schools remain in operation, there must be regular asbestos-risk testing for all teachers and learners forced to use these schools in Gauteng, to ensure that they are receiving the same quality of education as learners at better-facilitated schools.
Khume Ramulifho MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education
082 398 7375
073 601 6144