Cape Town - The Manenberg community has expressed its deep disappointment following the news that the Manenberg School of Skills project is currently on hold.
“So many mothers were looking forward to the Manenberg School of Skills. We have been dreaming about it for a long time, but politics keeps getting played with our people’s lives,” said community activist Roegshanda Pascoe.
This after the Western Cape High Court set aside the DA-led government’s decision to award construction company H&I Civil and Building the multimillion-rand tender for the construction of the new school, instead of Furipoint who had scored more points in the bidding process.
The court found the decision was based on incorrect facts and was inconsistent with the threshold requirements of the Constitution, among other reasons.
The department was ordered to remit its decision for reconsideration.
The R84 million project is close to a decade in the making.
It is part of the Manenberg Urban Upgrade, which the province said would include a 640-bed regional hospital; a schools upgrade and the new School of Skills.
The Schools of Skills will offer learners who would otherwise potentially drop out of the mainstream academic curriculum, the opportunity to pursue their own passion in a skills education environment.
It was initially scheduled to take 87 weeks to complete and reportedly should have opened at the end of 2023 but now there is no certainty when the project will see fruition.
“The project is currently on hold. It has not been constructed yet, and there are no learners enrolled,” the WCED said.
Pascoe said it was a sad state of affairs because the community desperately needed the school.
“If you give the community leadership in this process it would have been done already. Enhance and support what the community really wants to put in Manenberg.
It has been a lifelong vision. Politics keeps on being played with our people and they are not seeing the urgency of the school.
“We are sitting with traumatised children. These children are being put out of school saying they misbehave and cannot function academically. There is nothing wrong with these children; they are just misplaced, they need a School of Skills.”
Meanwhile following the court’s findings, Cape Coloured Congress leader, Fadiel Adams called on Premier Alan Winde to conduct a forensic audit into both the bid evaluation and bid adjudication committees.
“The provincial government will review the judgement and proceed once reviewed. The Premier has not received a call for a forensic audit,” Winde said.