We will focus on improving school infrastructure in 2019 – Motshekga

11 January 2019

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says one of her department’s priority areas this year will be improving the infrastructure of high schools.

Speaking to the SABC at Wembezi Secondary School in Estcourt on Wednesday, Motshekga said it was “embarrassing” to expect professionals to work in some of the conditions she had seen this week.

“The biggest, biggest push that provinces have to focus on is just getting basic infrastructure in place.” Motshekga also urged communities to work with their education departments to ensure the safety of children in and around schools. One of the provinces which had started the ball rolling on Motshekga’s plan was Gauteng.
The province’s education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, unveiled a new school building for Menzi Primary School in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni, on Wednesday.

Lesufi was joined by Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo. Makhura said the school did not belong to the teachers and the children, but to the community, and therefore it was important for it to protect the school and the pupils.

Mamabolo explained that the school had 33 “smart classrooms”, two science laboratories, two computer labs, and a library. The school also boasts a spacious sports ground, a tennis court, and a dining hall where food would be served to the children as part of the school’s nutrition programme.

“To date, this is the 53rd new school that we have given to the communities of Gauteng,” added Mamabolo. Lesufi encouraged parents to hold meetings at the school hall, but urged them to not destroy the facility. “Today you are happy for the councillor and the principal, but once you’re angry, if you burn this school, we will never repair it again,” Lesufi said.

“Community, I am pleading with you to protect this school. If you see someone inside the school premises at night tell the police and we will solve that person.”

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