Thursday, December 01, 2022

WCED aims to build additional classrooms to accommodate learners for 2023 schoool year

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is on a mission to build 842 additional classrooms to accommodate at least 26 000 learners in the province.

This programme, says the WCED, is being done at an unprecedented rate. MEC David Maynier said the school infrastructure programme has been made possible due to an R830 million increase in the infrastructure budget in 2022/23 financial year. The MEC said his department has already completed 164 classrooms planned for next year, and a further 510 are scheduled for completion by January 2023, with the final 168 by March 2023.

This unprecedented school build includes:

·        3 brick and mortar new and replacement schools = 46 additional classrooms (Moorreesburg High School; Chatsworth Primary School; and Perivale Primary School)

·        5 new mobile schools = 50 additional classrooms (Klapmuts – high school; Klapmuts – primary school; Lwandle – high school; Tafelsig – high school; and Mitchell’s Plain – high school)

·        New classroom builds = 645 additional classrooms

·        7 Rapid School Build projects = 101 additional classrooms (Delft; Atlantis; Rivergate; Lwandle; Wallacedene; Hout Bay; Century City)

 

The Rapid School Build programme is a new initiative by the WCED that brings together various stakeholders with the aim of developing and building 7 schools within six months to accommodate up to 3 200 learners.

Maynier however said the programme does come with significant risks, such as social unrest, extortion demands and strikes which lead to delays in building completion.

‘’The WCED has ensured that all the necessary employment criteria, municipal requirements, and procurement processes will be followed, but all too often we see unnecessary and damaging protest action from individuals or groups seeking job opportunities and construction contracts or driving personal agendas. This can lead to delays in project completion dates which ultimately has an impact on the learner,’’ said Maynier.

The MEC also raised concerns over the availability and delivery of building materials.

‘’We are reliant on all materials required for each classroom build to be available for delivery. Any transport delays, or shortages of certain materials could impact each build.’’

‘’We must all work together to prioritise the delivery of school infrastructure for our children, so that we have plenty of space ready for new learners arriving for the 2023 school year,’’ he added.

 

PICTURE: WCED

Done By: Mitchum George

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