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21 Western Cape schools closed due to storm damage

A flooded room with chairs at the Franschhoek High School

Franschhoek High School was closed on Wednesday due to storm damage. Picture: WCED

Published Sep 27, 2023


The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said 21 schools were closed across the province on Wednesday due to storm damage.

The province was hit hard by heavy rains and winds at the weekend.

Western Cape MEC for Education, David Maynier said the latest updated information indicated 249 schools in the province have been affected by the storms.

On Tuesday, 39 schools were closed, but the number reduced to 21 on Wednesday, with the vast majority closed as a result of access roads to schools being blocked.

“This morning I visited Franschhoek High School, which has been closed since the weekend’s storms. There is currently no water or electricity supply to the school, and substantial flooding to the access roads, making it impossible for 650 learners to attend school,” Maynier said.

While other schools are open, he said many have reported low attendance as pupils struggle to reach schools in flood-damaged areas.

On Tuesday, 30.1% of learners were not able to attend school, and 31.4% on Wednesday.

Maynier said WCED officials are working with schools to ensure they can all reopen as soon as possible and they encourage parents to keep in contact with schools for updates regarding closures.

“Our schools will implement catch-up plans to ensure that learners do not fall behind as a result of the school days lost this week. Schools close for the spring holidays this Friday, September 29, 2023, which will provide some breathing room for repairs and restoration of access,” Maynier said.

The WCED has reported infrastructure damage at 150 schools out of 249, with damage ranging from minor leaks to major roof damage.

Assessments of the damages are under way.

“We have also sadly been informed of three learners passing away over the long weekend as a result of the storm. We offer our deepest condolences to their families and have provided counselling support to their schools.

“We thank the emergency services, our government and NGO partners, and our schools for the assistance they are rendering to our teachers, learners, and parents as we recover from this devastating storm,” Maynier added.

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