Despite self-serving propaganda from the Gauteng Education Department, their lack of urgency in dealing with crumbling and dangerous infrastructure at schools is being brought into question.
Several complaints about unsafe and dangerous buildings have been lodged, but only a few schools have been attended to, largely because of the department’s lack of planning and insufficient budget, leaving many learners at risk across the province.
In a recently released investigation by Equal Education, the Gauteng Education Department is admonished for the poor quality of their latest annual school infrastructure report. The movement claims that Gauteng and other provinces are unwilling to do the work necessary to provide accurate information on the implementation of ‘Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure’.
According to Equal Education, the latest Gauteng report is not a document of substance, contains no budget information and documents only limited plans for the future. A glaring omission from the report is information related to maintenance, including toilet maintenance.
Infrastructure backlogs such as asbestos schools and a shortage of toilets in 747 schools are not dealt with in a transparent manner in the Education Department’s report, leading to the conclusion that the department has something to hide.
It is also extremely disappointing that 260 out of 265 schools that require perimeter fencing and the required reduction of classroom backlogs will not meet the 2020 deadline.
A lack of proper planning to maintain infrastructure and fiscal consolidation due to a poisoned political environment, often results in provincial education departments being sucked into a perpetual cycle of fixing schools.
Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi needs to come clean with the public about his department’s inability to deal with this problem. Another tragedy which results in the death of learners at schools will not be tolerated.
Issued by The DA