The Western Cape departments of education and public works are to sell unused land - most of it owned by former Model C schools - to raise money to build new schools to keep up with the growing number of pupils.

An example is an unused portion of the sportsfields at the Jan van Riebeeck High School in Tamboerskloof.

Education MEC Cameron Dugmore's spokesman, Gert Witbooi, confirmed that the department was investigating the possible sale of land owned by about 15 schools in Cape Town and rural areas.

It is believed the department could raise R250 million if the land is sold.

In his budget speech last week, Dugmore said the number of new schools planned would not be enough to end the overcrowding of classrooms.

"We will explore all options, including making the most efficient use of our buildings and available land," he said.

"I will be working closely with MEC for Transport, Public Works and Property Management Mcebisi Skwatsha to fast-track the sale of well-located school land."

Skwatsha said the education department would assess the superfluous land and public works would dispose of it.

"The disposal of properties cannot be done piecemeal and a sustainable income stream has to be ensured," he said.

"The first example of the disposal of unused land of a former Model C school is a portion of the Jan van Riebeeck High School sportsfields.

"The department is adjudicating offers received (under) the latest policy on disposals, which has a strong emphasis on black economic empowerment."

The school did not have a problem with the sale, Jan van Riebeeck High principal Hammies van Niekerk said on Tuesday night.

The land did not belong to the school, but to the province, and he did not foresee a controversy arising, he said.

Skwatsha said his department would dispose of identified properties over three years. The money raised would pay for new schools and any surplus funds would be used for infrastructure and maintenance.

Witbooi said: "The department is investigating the raising of money in creative ways, such as the sale of land. There are quite a few properties, but it is a sensitive issue as it is land that belongs to schools.

"The influx ... from other provinces and the improvement in keeping pupils in the education system means the department always needs extra money."

The province is building three new schools this year and is to build nine next year.