Members of the school governing body and workers reopen the gate at Amandasig Secondary School that was welded shut by residents to prevent traffic congestion in the street. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency(ANA)
Members of the school governing body and workers reopen the gate at Amandasig Secondary School that was welded shut by residents to prevent traffic congestion in the street. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency(ANA)

Amandasig Secondary School, residents in tug-of-war over welded gate

By SAKHILE NDLAZI Time of article published Nov 12, 2019

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Pretoria - The tug-of-war between Amandasig Secondary School and neighbouring residents is intensifying, with both sides pulling hard.

This comes after frustrated residents living across from one of the entrances on Teak Street welded the school gate shut last week.

The residents said the gate had increased crime in the area and promoted drug use by learners and residents, among other issues.

Members of the community said they wanted the school to use the gate on Brits Road, saying there was “ample space” there for parents to drop off their children. Yesterday they said this would lower traffic levels and give Teak Street residents peace of mind.

This was why residents last Monday welded the school gate shut and erected a sign indicating that it was closed. Yesterday the school’s governing body reopened the gate, using grinders and hammers.

The issue has been a thorn in the side of residents since the school was established in 2011.

They have written numerous petitions and emails expressing their opposition to the gate, and yesterday sent their objections to the City of Tshwane, provincial Department of Education and the Department of Roads and Transport, voicing their many concerns. Chief among these has been the high crime and drug rates the gate has allegedly sparked, and the unbearable noise levels from vehicles transporting learners.

According to a resident, what was even more worrying was the fact that the Department of Education did not adhere to regulations by not informing residents or having a public participation meeting.

“We were not informed, and no proper procedures were followed when they established the school on the land, which still belongs to the Department of Agriculture,” the resident said.

Member of the school governing body Clement Menyuko reopened the welded gate in full view of some of the residents.

“No one is allowed to close the gate of the school under any circumstances. We will continue to counteract residents' actions until all the relevant stakeholders have reached consensus,” he said.

He said the school was still in the process of setting up a mass stakeholders' meeting. But residents said they had lost faith in such meetings.

“They are fruitless, with no end in sight. Hopefully this mass stakeholders' meeting will put this matter to bed,” said one, who asked to remain anonymous.

The school has opened a case of damage to property at the Akasia Police Station.

Menyuko said members of the community had always experienced frustration emanating from traffic inconveniences caused by the use of the gate in Teak Street.

“Some people claimed that there were crimes because of the gate, but I don’t know what they are talking about.

Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said the department had constantly engaged with the City of Tshwane to approve access to the school on the main road, but this proved futile as the City indicated that the road was a busy provincial road that did not allow for a school entry point.

Pretoria News

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