Development financier, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation today announced that it has injected some R195 million toward the construction and refurbishment of four dilapidated schools in the OR Tambo District Municipality in the former Transkei homeland of the Eastern Cape.
Addressing stakeholders and the small business community in Mthatha this morning, newly-appointed ECDC chief executive officer Buhle Dlulane says these funds are part of an initial R300 million allocation from the provincial government toward the implementation of the Integrated Social Infrastructure Delivery Programme (ISIDP).
“These schools are Plangeni Junior Secondary School in Mbizana which has 1,171 learners. It is expected to come at a cost of t R52,3 million and it is due for completion in April 2017. The second school with 740 learners is Dilizintaba Senior Secondary School in Tsolo at a cost of R53 million. The expected completion date is February 2017. Flagstaff Primary School at a cost of R38 million is expected to be completed in January 2017 and Flagstaff High School with 1,105 learners comes at a cost of R51 million.
“The programme came via an EXCO resolution in 2013 which recognised the massive infrastructure backlog in the Eastern Cape across key social and economic sectors and indicators such as education, health, human settlements, roads, water and sanitation. In 2014/15 ECDC carried out a conditional assessment of 79 schools on behalf of the Department of Education. The R1,6 million spent on this exercise was meant to assess the current state of the schools and the additional infrastructure that is required,” says Dlulane.
The report indicated that not only was a shortage of classrooms a concern, but also the state of the classrooms, substantial structural challenges, shortage of toilets, water and sanitation and access roads to the schools is a notable challenge. A team of six companies made up of quantity surveyors was appointed to conduct the assessments. The schools are located in Chris Hani, OR Tambo, Amathole and Alfred Nzo district municipalities.
“Construction has already begun in three of the schools. They were characterised by dilapidated ablution facilities and completely ruined classrooms. For example, in Dilizintaba Senior Secondary School in Tsolo three blocks consisting of 10 classrooms had to be demolished as well as the ablution facilities.
“The new structures will feature state of the art facilities. In Dilizintaba, 19 new classrooms are being built, a new administration block, new hall, computer lab, a science lab and multipurpose hall, nutrition centre, HOD offices, new guard house as well as new ablution facilities. The additional classrooms should solve congestion challenges in classrooms with learners being capped at a maximum of 45 per class,” explains Dlulane.
By the end of February 2016, 29 Job opportunities were created at Dilizintaba . Of these 16 are youth, 25 men and four women and these numbers are expected to go up as the project progresses through its implementation stage.
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