HUNDREDS OF SCHOOLS BATTERED BY STORM

WEB_PHOTO_Storm_170314: Violent storms in parts of KwaZulu-Natal on Monday afternoon led to one person being electrocuted by a lightning strike, 18 people being injured, and many others left homeless.


WEENEN, KwaZulu-Natal – About 400 schools in KwaZulu-Natal were left damaged by recent storms.

The provincial education department said it is prioritising renovations at Enkangala High School in Weenen, but it cannot provide a timeline for the repairs.

The school, which accommodates grade eight and grade nine pupils, has been operating from two classrooms at Thandanani Primary since 2009.

Related: At least 3 dead, 18 injured during severe storms

Since the recent storms, one of the classrooms collapsed. No one was injured.

Parents and teachers told eNCA the department has ignored their concerns for several years.

Pupils are now attending lessons under a tree.

“There is nothing to show any movement to solve this problem and the department is complaining about the budget. They just complain, saying there is no budget to build a new school,” said chairperson of the school governing body, China Sithole.

Pupils are worried the situation will affect their studies, especially with more rain on the way.

“We ask the government to build classrooms for us, as grade nine and grade eight don’t have classes to learn in. We can’t learn outside because it is summer now and it can rain anytime. We don’t even have a board to write on,” said one pupil.

Related: Hailstorm collapses roof of Cradlestone Mall

“Now that we are learning outside it is worse than before. We stay outside and we are learning nothing and other children are learning. The exams are coming up and we are not going to write anything,” another learner added.

The department said it has its hands full and infrastructure needs have been placed on a list in order of priority.

But it promised to put temporary measures in place to ensure these pupils have a roof over their heads.

“We will write a letter to our own HOD asking him to declare the school as an emergency. It therefore that your normal tender processes will have to be fast-tracked in order for the school to get a proper structure,” said the KZN education department’s Kwazi Mthethwa.

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