An oversight visit has revealed that some schools in the province still do not have access to running water. Picture: PickPik
An oversight visit has revealed that some schools in the province still do not have access to running water. Picture: PickPik

Millions spent on infrastructure yet some KZN schools still don’t have running water

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Sep 2, 2020

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Durban - WHILE the Department of Education has spent millions of rand on infrastructure, a steady water supply remains the key challenge facing many schools in KwaZulu-Natal.

This is according to the Department of Education Portfolio Committee members after they visited several schools in the uMkhanyakude District and the Pomeroy area near Msinga yesterday. They will wrap up their tour today.

The visit showed that schools were struggling to secure a steady supply of water, with municipalities not delivering on time or when required.

Schools reopened last month and accepted all grades, but pupils attend on alternate days to comply with social-distancing protocols.

Chairperson of the portfolio committee Jomo Sibiya, who visited schools in uMkhanyakude District, said they found that 95% of the required items for schools to function were in place.

“There are minor challenges in some schools, but we have to commend the department. The teachers, all the unions, are there and education is continuing,” he said.

“We do have minor concerns in that the mobile toilets provided are not in a good condition, but the department assured us new toilets will be brought in, in the next two weeks.

“Our biggest issue is water – we found that while the department had installed seven water tanks, only three have been filled by the municipality, and we plead with the municipalities to ensure they deliver water to schools.

“The department has already spent about R12 million on the supply of water, we know they are working on a more permanent programme to supply water using boreholes, but in the meantime we ask the municipalities to assist us by providing water,” he said.

DA spokesperson on education Dr Imran Keeka, who visited schools in the Pomeroy area, said they found a mixed bag of results.

The Mercury

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