The dire state of the infrastructure at Portlands Primary School has become a concern after a child was injured. Photo: supplied.
The dire state of the infrastructure at Portlands Primary School has become a concern after a child was injured. Photo: supplied.

Complaints arise over 42-year-old Cape school building after a pupil got injured

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Apr 16, 2021

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Portland's Primary School’s governing body has raised concern over the deterioration of the school’s 42-year-old building which has already led to one pupil being injured.

Munier Hendricks said upon inspection at the school he found that the school had numerous hazardous defects which could lead to more pupils sustaining injuries.

Hendricks is the school’s newly appointed school governing body chairperson.

He said he was informed of the defects by a woman who did a leadership programme at the school, Luce Lynn Fondling.

“She brought to my attention her disturbance and worry about the state of the school building infrastructure. Due to the condition of the building, she handed out reflectors to 36 newly elected prefects and said to them that the school is not safe, and the school should be red taped,” he said.

According to Munier, all fives sets of stairs at the school are cracked or splitting. He said pupils had to constantly practise caution. In March a pupil got injured while walking the middle flight’s stairs.

The Grade 7 pupil is alleged to have “stepped on a crack on the first step as he was about to get a grip on the railing to descend the flight of stairs. His ankle twisted on the uneven surface caused by the crack and he lost his balance because of the pain that shot up his foot and leg”.

The boy’s father, Derrick Beaukman, said his son had to have X-rays done.

“The school is in a dire state and maintenance is non-existent,” he said.

Munier said there has been communication sent to the department by the school, and an official at the district office last week confirmed that she was aware of the issue.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokeswoman Bronagh Hammond confirmed that the department was aware of the school’s infrastructure issue.

“We have initiated a project with Department of Trade and Public Works-Employment Incentive to rectify these. We have recently engaged with them in relation to when this project will be implemented. No specific dates have been finalised.

“The WCED has a team that inspects schools if a notification of perceived risks is submitted to us. Should risks be identified, then we will seek to respond with a permanent solution as soon as possible,” said Hammond.

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