City gives nod to Hout Bay school site
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Cape Town The city council has given the go-ahead for the rezoning of an erf in Hout Bay to pave the way for the building of a much-needed high school, particularly for the children of Imizamo Yethu.
But pupils of Silikamva High School – currently being taught in containers – said although they were excited about the brick and mortar school, they left “room for disappointment” as they had been promised the new school for at least five years.
Zifikile Mpingeli, 18, a Grade 12 pupil, said: “We were always promised that a school will be built, but that never happened. So we are kind of excited, but will leave room for disappointment.”
Zifikile said it was difficult to concentrate with learning when being taught in the containers.
She said: “At least if it is a brick school then I am sure it will be great.”
Aviwe Bokwana, 19, a Grade 11 pupil, said being taught in containers discouraged some of the pupils and the amount of work they put in at school.
She said the containers did not have air-conditioners or fans.
“When it is hot outside, the classroom itself gets very hot.
“Sometimes others choose to skip class and sit outside,” said Bokwana.
Odwa Fodi, 14, a Grade 7 pupil said she was not looking forward to school during winter.
She said: “Some of the classes have leaks so when it rains the classroom gets soaked.
“It is terrible at times, our hands shiver from the cold.”
Despite security and traffic concerns raised by residents of Penzance Estate, the city council said it did not foresee the proposed development having an unacceptable traffic impact.
The school, which will accommodate 750 pupils, is due for completion in December next year.
It would cater for Grades 8-12 with a staff complement of around 35.
The property is on the upper-east side of the Hout Bay valley, abutting Imizamo Yethu on its northern boundary and Penzance Estate to the south.
Currently, the property accommodates a temporary high school, an early childhood development centre and an aftercare facility.
In a report to the Good Hope subcouncil, the city council’s land use department said the school would not have any negative impact on the surrounding area nor negatively affect the aesthetics of the streetscape.
Landscaping of the property would significantly improve the environment.
The transport impact would be low and there would be a sufficient number of onsite parking bays.
The school would be set back around 60m from the street boundary.
For these reasons the council has not upheld any objections from residents to the school being built, saying it was satisfied the perimeter would be replaced with Clearvu fencing.
“The proposal offers the best possible opportunity to respond to the desperate need for improved educational facilities in close proximity to the learners.
“The location of the place of instruction is appropriate given the safe, easy and fairly uninterrupted access which the local communities will have to the facility,” said the report.
Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for MEC of Education Debbie Schäfer, said the tender for Silikamva High School was out on tender, and it was expected that construction would start in September.
The subcouncil noted that, in future, the provincial education department may seek to build another school on the property, but this was not yet under consideration.
Roscoe Jacobs, of the Hout Bay Civic Association, said the community welcomed the upgrade of the school.
He said: “When it comes to education we welcome that proper facilities are needed in a teaching environment to make it a conducive environment.”
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