About 60 Zwelitsha families in, Kuyasa, Khayelitsha, are set to be moved to a temporary site to make way for the construction of a new temporary primary school. The project started towards the end of last month, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the community, the City of Cape Town, the Department of Public works and the Western Cape Education Department. The R3 million project is expected to be completed by the end of this month.
City’s mayoral committee member for area east, Anda Ntsodo, said: “This project did not form part of the City’s original plans for the year, but due to the urgent need for a school in the area, the project team was able to source funding and appoint a contractor.
“Their good work will be instrumental in improving access to education for children in this area.
“We would also like to thank the community for their role in enabling the construction of this school, their commitment to maintaining a constructive working relationship, and for playing their part to make progress possible,” he said.
When Vukani visited the area on Thursday October 12, construction workers were preparing the land for the families.
Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Education MEC Debbie Schafer, said a short-term plan was to place about 12 mobile classrooms on the site.
The school would accommodate about 400 pupils.
Ms Shelver said the school should be ready for the start of the new academic year if all went according to plan. She said the plan was to build a brick-and-mortar school, but the department had to finalise the budget and timelines.
Resident Pheziswa Novokoza said the pupils had to walk long distances to and from school, putting their lives and safety at risk, particularly during winter when the sun rose later and it became dark earlier.
She said the pupils had been forced to board overloaded vehicles to go to other schools in the area and so, having a school nearby could save parents the money they usually spent on transport.
“I’m glad that the government is responding to our pleas. If I have to move my shack I have no problem. Our children will now a school close to their homes,” she said.