Education facilities in Limpopo – including four schools – built at a cost of R143-million are standing empty and being vandalised despite a desperate need for proper infrastructure in the province.
The provincial department of education allocated R106-million for the construction of three circuit offices in 2012 – one in Bochum (R33-million), another in Tshipse (R45-million) and a third in Mapela (R28-million).
The offices were to double as teacher-training facilities. But the buildings are still empty and thieves have begun scavenging metal from them.
A new school for the blind in Mankweng, 40km outside Polokwane, is covered in weeds and vandals have broken doors and windows, and stripped the building of its fittings.
The school has 20 classrooms, two blocks of hostels, two residences, a kitchen and a dining hall. Building was completed in June, and pupils and teachers of Setotolwane School, which had been declared “unfit”, were expected to move in.
Statistics SA released its Focus on Schooling in Limpopo report yesterday, showing that of the 154351 pupils who started school in 2001, only 53.4% wrote matric in 2013. Only 38.3% of them passed the National School Certificate.
In 2012, the department was unable to provide textbooks on time. Deliveries were finally made after the department was taken to court.
Provincial department spokes-man Paena Galane failed to explain why the three circuit offices remained unoccupied.
Asked why the department abandoned the schools in Giyani, Galane said there were not enough teachers or pupils to occupy them.