The newly opened Everest Primary School in Newclare. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso
Johannesburg - After years of attending lessons in a dangerous asbestos school, pupils of Everest Primary School in Newclare have a brand new facility.

On Wednesday morning, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi opened the brand new school after the asbestos one was demolished.

Gauteng department of infrastructure development HOD Bethuel Netshiswinzhe said it cost about R94million to rebuild the school.

He said Everest Primary was the 42nd school the department has opened since 2014.

Everest Primary was one of the 22 asbestos schools in the province. Lesufi announced plans are in place to rebuilt the remaining 21. 

“We have already appointed a contractor for Noordgesig Primary School,” he said.

Welcoming the Grade 1 class and their parents, Lesufi urged them to not vandalise the school.

“When we first came to this city we wanted gold but there is no gold anymore. The future gold is our own children. These are the children who’ll build  the economy,” Lesufi said.

He said the only way for children to get out of poverty was through education. “What we demand from society is that all children never again queue for a social grant but queue for a graduation ceremony. They must be given an opportunity to not rely on an RDP house from government.”

Lesufi had to cut his visit to the school short after he was informed of protests at Hoerskool Overvaal.

On Wednesday morning, EFF members were clashing with parents at the school over the admission of 55 English learners.

This week the High court in Pretoria ruled the school has no capacity to admit the learners.  Lesufi is appealing the ruling.

On Wednesday morning he said: “Those who oppressed our parents will not oppress our children. They might have won but this is short lived victory because non-racialism is the future."

“All these schools belong to our children. No child will be told this is a no-go area.”

The Star