The DA has welcomed an undertaking by the departments of education and public works to complete 225 new pre-fabricated classrooms at 58 schools in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and in the Cacadu district in the current financial year.
The DA leader at National Council of Provinces, Elza van Lingen, said: “There is good news for the overcrowded schools lacking classrooms to accommodate all the pupils in the Eastern Cape, especially in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and Cacadu.”
Lingen said the classroom allocation to schools in the various municipalities, specific cities or towns are 20 schools receiving 93 classrooms in Port Elizabeth, 11 schools were receiving 41 classrooms in Uitenhage.
Eight schools will receive 37 classrooms in Kouga, six schools receiving 26 classrooms in Grahamstown, six schools receiving 21 classrooms in Koukamma, two schools will receiving 10 classrooms in Port Alfred, three schools benefit with two projects completed with 21 classrooms and a further seven to follow at another school in Sundays River Valley, Somerset East with a single school will receive three classrooms and Nieu Bethesda with one school receiving three classrooms.
“About 35 of the projects are completed or near completion with a few snags such as water tanks at 12 schools still to be installed.
Toilets are to be completed in three cases. Most of these contracts were awarded in March 2012 and are between 88% and 100% completed but subject to final inspections.
There are a few major problems at three schools where contracts were awarded in March last year with very little progress made. John Masiza Primary School in Walmer township in Port Elizabeth is one of the headaches where only 15% progress has been made,” said Lingen.
She said the DA would support the schools to secure delivery of these classrooms before the end of March this year, ensure that all snags are rectified, those projects with the real issues are urgently addressed and ensure that the Eastern Cape and pupils do not lose out on any of this funding due to non-delivery.
Eastern Cape department of education spokesperson Mali Mtima, said: “As the department, to make sure that there is conducive teaching and learning in our classrooms, we took an undertaking that we need to prioritise building of classrooms as matter of urgency.”