Following construction delays, the multimillion-rand Mayibuye Primary School, which has been a white elephant for over seven years, has officially opened doors of learning for the first time since its construction in 2017.
The school was delayed for seven years after there were issues with the first contractor who was hired for the project.
The other matter was that the school was built in a wetland, resulting in the area being flooded. Running sewage could also be seen from outside the school premises as a sign of a safety hazard.
The state-of-the-art school was launched and handed over to the community of Mayibuye by the Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, Education MEC Matome Chilaone, and Human Settlements MEC Lebogang Maile on Wednesday in Thembisa.
It will accommodate learners from Grades R to Grade 7, focusing on ICT. It has an integral Early Childhood Development (ECD) section.
The school is expected to accommodate over 2,000 learners.
The school consists of ICT classes, labs, laptops, smart devices (smart boards), CCTV, fitted CCTV equipment, bathrooms and restrooms for the minors, sports facilities, a school hall, a generator room, as well as backup water tanks.
However, Lesufi rubbished claims that the school was in a bad state, saying that the first contractor was a problem in the mix.
Initially, the school cost R82 million to built.
Speaking to the parents and community members who were gathered to formally welcome the school, Lesufi apologised for the delayed opening, assuring them that such an infrastructural delay would never happen again in the province.
“Whether they like it or not, Mayibuye is ibuyile,” he said.
He pleaded with the community to take care of their school and ensure that children were safe and able to attend school without fear of safety concerns.
Despite some parts of the school not being complete, he praised the appointed contractors for their efforts to ensure that the classrooms were properly completed.
He said the school would service the community with a comprehensive education system that would allow pupils to learn about technology and take part in sports without having to pay anything.
The school was built to ensure pupils were able to access school without having difficulties with long-distance travel.