Bleak start to school for many in KZN
Durban - THE provision of water, structural damage to schools, pass rates, tools of the trade for teachers as well the provision of PPEs for both teachers and pupils were among the issues raised at schools to KwaZulu-Natal Legislature MPs and MPLs.
In districts such as Umkhanyakude and Ugu, where the lack of water was already an issue, schools found themselves faced with a challenge.
The MPs and MPLs were in various districts yesterday including Ilembe, Pinetown, Amajuba Harry Gwala, and Zululand as part of the schools functionality monitoring programme ending today.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka was among a delegation that visited schools at the Harry Gwala District and where these issues were raised.
“I started my visits on Monday in Amajuba where I found that at one primary school, only 42 PPEs had been delivered for 40 staff and 90 pupils, and I was told that these were delivered because MPs were coming. In some districts that have water challenges, some schools have had to revert to pit latrines from flushing toilets.
“I have also learnt that in Umkhanyakude, some schools don’t have water because tankers have not delivered it as they don’t have any diesel. We've seen children crossing rivers. It's time for Premier Sihle Zikalala and his comrades to make sure that there is accountability for the looting of state coffers,” said DA Education spokesperson Imraan Keeka.
This visit comes just two days after pupils from some schools in Melmoth were forced to cross swelling rivers going home after school following recent heavy rains.
Yesterday, the Daily News reported on a video where mostly school pupils and commuters were stuck on the other side of the Munywe river in Melmoth as the 30-year-old causeway bridge was submerged in the river after heavy rains.
Parents watching on the other side of the river devised a plan where the children were able to cross using a rope stretched from one side to the other.
Mhlengi Zwane, ward 12 councillor in Mthonjaneni local municipality which falls under Zululand district municipality, said that the river had grown in size over the years and the bridge could not help when it rained.
He said that on the same day that pupils from Obuka High and Mawande Primary Schools were stuck on the other side of the river Munywe, he helped more of these pupils at another river which did not have a bridge.
Zwane said that he too used a rope to help pupils and some other residents cross the Ntumbukazi river.
“I realised the risk of what I was doing when I lost my footing and nearly got swept away. He explained that there was no bridge to cross here and it had been residents who put rocks and sand for both cars and pedestrians to cross. After heavy rains, this happens the rocks and sand to cross become non-existent. We really need bridges for both pedestrians and vehicles that are on a high level so that they will not be affected should there be heavy rains.”