The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) will not meet the demand to place all learners who applied for Grades 1 and 8 for the 2023 academic year.
This is because the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management (DID) is lagging in building new schools and maintaining the existing schools.
This means that with the high demand for enrolment in this province, many learners will not have access to quality education and a conducive learning environment due to the shortage of schools.
This will result in overcrowding in classrooms, some learners being taught under the tree or in the school hall, and many schools will adopt the rotational learning system to ensure that learning and teaching continue without further disruptions.
There have been unnecessary delays in the construction of the following new schools; Hillcrest Primary School, Mayibuye School Primary, Mogobeng Primary School, Nokuthula LSEN School, Nancifield Primary School, Braamfischerville Primary School, and Rustervaal Secondary School.
The contractors have been terminated, and the planning is underway for the appointment of new contractors to complete the projects.
This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development and Property Management (DID) MEC, Tasneem Motara, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL). See replies here.
It is unacceptable that seven schools are still incomplete and will not be completed within the stipulated timelines. Delays in the completion of infrastructure projects will result in running over budget.
It is further disappointing that the only action taken by DID against these contractors that have failed to complete the construction of the schools is terminating their contracts.
Contractors who fail to complete the infrastructure projects should be blacklisted and not do business with the government.
The DA demands that both MEC Motara and Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, must fast-track the process of appointing the new contractors so that the construction of schools can be completed and be able to ease pressure on high demand schools. When the DA governs Gauteng in 2024, we will terminate the current agreement between DID and the GDE, to ensure that GDE is responsible for its infrastructure budget and building its own schools.