Learners from Naluxolo Primary School in Samora Machel only get to learn for two hours a day due to blocked toilet drains. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Learners from Naluxolo Primary School in Samora Machel only get to learn for two hours a day due to blocked toilet drains. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Blocked drains disrupt learning in Samora Machel as toilets spill

By Odwa Mkentane Time of article published May 5, 2021

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Cape Town - Learning at Naluxolo Primary School in Samora Machel has been disrupted due to the blockage of a nearby drain that has caused 15 toilets to spill.

School governing body (SGB) chairperson Judy Davids said the City was alerted to the matter before the closing of the first term.

Pupils who now attend school twice a week spend less than an hour on the premises due to the stench, she said.

“The drain has been blocked since toward the end of last year, and people of the City would come and fix it temporarily.

“Then it would start again, this time around they just ignored our calls. The drain has affected the entire school including the learning schedules of children.

“They spend less than an hour at school and that is very embarrassing because they cannot learn anything in less than an hour.

“The City needs to do something before something happens to the school,” said Davids.

Western Cape Education Department WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the school has been informed that safety issues in the area have delayed progress in the fixing.

“The school has reported it to the City of Cape Town for their attention. We await their action. The school has also approached SAPS to support the municipal workers.

’’Due to the issues with the drainage, which affect the school ablution facilities, the school thus has to close early each day for health and safety reasons. We will continue to engage with the City in this regard,” said Hammond.

The City yesterday said it is looking into the particulars of the matter and will respond in due course.

Meanwhile, residents in the Ethembeni informal settlement in Khayelitsha yesterday held a service delivery protest.

Community activist Bulelani Qolani said: “The City and the national Department of Human Settlements has made promises that they will provide us with water and sanitation, until today there is nothing at all. They were grandstanding because there were cameras.

’’People here have to cross the street and go to the nearby bush to help themselves, my worry is that we have people who are disabled who struggle to cross during the night and many people especially the women have been victims in the bushes at night,” said Qolani.

Human Settlements Mayco member Malusi Booi said the City alone cannot tackle rapid urbanisation.

“This unlawful occupation has happened in a water detention pond. The City has warned people not to settle here as the pond is designed to catch the excess water after rain and then drain it into the ocean.

’’It is designed to catch water and not for human habitation. The pond has been there before the people settled so this is a pre-existing condition,” he said.

Cape Times

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