Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng conducted oversight inspections at three schools in Diepsloot and discovered that schooling has not resumed at Diepsloot Secondary School due to no water and electricity, while the ablution facilities and mobile classrooms have been vandalised.
Diepsloot Primary School and Diepsloot Secondary School have had a number of burglaries and vandalism during the school holidays in December and January.
Electricity cables and borehole pumps for both schools have also been stolen, while the security burglar bars for the mobile classrooms were either stolen or damaged, as well as windows and doors having been left broken.
Diepsloot Secondary School currently does not have patrollers, with the service halted in July last year, while Diepsloot Primary School only has patrollers working during the day, leaving the school vulnerable at night.
The fence surrounding Diepsloot Secondary School was destroyed and stolen in 2018, and subsequently never replaced.
These incidents of theft and vandalism were reported to the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) who only assessed these facilities a day after the schools were reopened for the 2021 academic year.
It is appalling to learn that the department is aware of the situation, yet nothing has been done to provide alternative resources.
While all learners across the province are attending school, learners from Diepsloot Secondary School are idling at home doing nothing, resulting in a negative impact on the curriculum schedule.
The Gauteng Department of Education MEC , Panyaza Lesufi must be held accountable for failing to fix Diepsloot Secondary School before the schools reopened.
The conditions of these schools indicate that MEC Lesufi misled the people of Gauteng when he made a public announcement that all our Gauteng schools are ready to open for the 2021 academic year.
Furthermore, the department failed to spend R1,3 billion in the 2019/ 2020 financial year, while schools such as these two are in dire need of Infrastructure and adequate resources.
It is high time that Lesufi stops boasting around about the state-of-the-arts schools being built while Diepsloot Primary and Secondary schools remain in awful condition.
It is the responsibility of the department to ensure that all schools are ready to be reopened for the 2021 academic year.
The DA has written to the MEC to attend to these schools in Diepsloot as a matter of urgency, as learners must get back to school and continue with learning and teaching before end of next week.