Owner Margery Tyobo in front of the Ayanda Junior Academy, Gauteng’s first township private school. Piture: Chulumanco Mahamba
Johannesburg - Concerned Vosloorus residents have started a petition for Ayanda Junior Academy to be given an approval of occupancy certificate by the Ekurhuleni municipality.

The petition, which requested for 500 signatures, has managed to get more than 3000 signatures since it was put up online on Thursday.

The petition follows claims by the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) that the black-owned private school was operating illegally, after the application for its registration was declined due to its occupancy certificate being disapproved.

Gift Luti, who started the petition, said the occupation certificate would ensure that the school was legal to be occupied, which would then enable registration of the school. 

“This will ensure that a legacy of the township gradually reaches new leaps in the education front,” he said.

Ekurhuleni municipality welcomed the historic milestone of the first black-owned school in the area. However, it discouraged the petition. It said there were still a number of inspections to be done before the school could get an occupancy certificate.

“We have been in contact with the school concerning the outstanding mandatory inspection, after which we will be able to issue a certificate of occupancy.

“The inspection involves a number of relevant departments, such as city planning, roads and environmental health, among others.

“The school is required to make that application for this inspection, and we are on record that we are willing to expedite the processes,” said municipality spokesperson Themba Gadebe.

Despite the petition making rounds on the internet, the school said it had nothing to do with it and wasn’t aware it had been started.

School principal Sylvia Pole said: “We were not necessarily in need of that kind of help (petition). It was an initiative by them (community) to show their support towards the school and we appreciate the effort.”

She added that the article that came out about the school operating illegally was actually some kind of help to them, as the following morning of its publication they had people from the GDE, the municipality and architectures coming over to inspect the school and its structure. 

@yethudlamini

The Star