A massive weather system is pummelling SA, but bringing welcome rain to drought-stricken areas. Follow all the latest details here.
The Western Cape Education Department on Friday said that 135 schools in the province had been damaged as a result of the massive storm which struck earlier in the week.
Education MEC Debbie Schafer said in a statement that learners and educators returned to school on Thursday after schools had been closed on Wednesday as a result of severe weather that hit the Cape for a period of almost 36 hours.
“While I am pleased that for most schools, learning and teaching resumed almost immediately, there are a number of schools that were harder hit by the storm and as a result, teaching and learning may be suspended for a couple of days.
“By Thursday, 135 schools had reported storm damage to our Safe Schools Call Centre, with 41 schools reporting damage to the school roofs.”
Schafer said: “There are exceptions at some schools that have been severely damaged by the storm. Our district officials are working with schools to implement contingency plans. Schools have also reported water damage to classrooms, fallen trees and damage to fences.
“We are reporting all cases immediately to the Provincial Department of Transport and Public Works.”
She said the head of the provincial department of Transport and Public Works had activated emergency procurement measures which would make provision for schools “to ensure, as quickly as possible, that facilities are made safe where damage has occurred and allow for minor repairs to prevent further damage to buildings”.
Education department works inspectors had already visited the worst-hit schools. “Once we have received the reports on all schools, the total cost of damages and the extent of damages, we will determine the strategy going forward and the prioritisation of reparations works.”
She said schools needed to be made operational as soon as possible, which meant that authorities would have to prioritise damage that affected the core functioning of the school, such as damage to classrooms, ablutions and administration blocks.
The department would fix minor damages as soon as possible she added.
“Major repairs will take longer,” Schafer said. “These will need further investigation and procurement procedures. It is too early to assess the costs involved.
“We deeply appreciate the understanding of parents, principals and teachers, and their willingness to work with our officials in meeting these challenges positively.”
Source: The Citizen