The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng welcomes the decision by the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) to shut down the dilapidated Johannesburg East District Offices in Parkmore, Johannesburg.
This decision was made following the DA’s oversight inspection to these offices last week Thursday.
We discovered that the offices have been closed for two weeks and we found District Officials protesting outside the office over the poor working conditions.
The roof is leaking, the floor is wet, and fire extinguishers have expired and pose a safety risk. The staircases, kitchen sink cardboards and taps are broken. The ceilings are broken, ablution facilities are dysfunctional with no toilet paper and there are water leakages.
The building is infested with rats and the chemicals used to kill the rats has resulted in some employees getting sick.
There is also severe overcrowding in the offices with 200 employees based there, and the environment is not conducive for working.
We alerted both the Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi and the HOD who made commitments to prioritise resolving the matter.
While we welcome the MEC’s decision to shut down the offices, we call on him and his counterpart, the MEC for Infrastructure Development, Tasneem Motara to prioritise fixing school infrastructure during this school holiday.
It is high time that the department spends its infrastructure budget to ensure that the old and dilapidated schools are fixed so that when the schools reopen, teaching and learning is not compromised.