The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management to consider better utilising old and abandoned schools across the province.
Gauteng has many schools that have been abandoned due to poor enrolment. These schools had low enrolment numbers as parents are seeking a quality education for their children and are therefore enrolling them far from their residential areas. This has added pressure to few schools as they can’t accommodate more learners due to lack of capacity.
Some of these schools have been vandalised, are falling into disrepair while some have been hijacked by our residents who are in dire need of housing.
Two examples of schools that have been abandoned are the former Hlengiwe Primary School and Thulari Secondary in Soweto.
In addition, these people who are occupying these schools are illegally connecting basic services, which has a negative impact on the municipality.
If no decisive action is taken by the department, then these abandoned schools have the potential to become a haven for crime in the province.
Furthermore, these abandoned schools should be fixed and used as schools in the community as there is a severe shortage of schools in these areas.
The DA is calling on the MEC for Infrastructure Development and Property Management, Tasneem Motara to conduct an audit and status verification of all the abandoned and unused schools in the province. By doing this the department will be able to properly ascertain the exact number of abandoned schools and how they can best be repurposed by government.