Gloomy state of Sun­ny­side Pri­mary

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - TANYA PETERSEN

SUN­NY­SIDE Pri­mary in Athlone suf­fered se­vere dam­age in the re­cent storms which lashed the Western Cape.

Its ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing had its roof blown off and sus­tained wa­ter dam­age. A few class­rooms were also af­fected.

It is one of 171 schools in the prov­ince that re­ported dam­age.

Western Cape Education Depart­ment spokesper­son Paddy At­twell said it was aware of the sit­u­a­tion and has im­ple­mented mea­sures to as­sist the school.

“The storm blew off the ad­min­is­tra­tion block and dam­aged the elec­tric­ity sup­ply to five class­rooms. Con­trac­tors have re­moved rub­ble and dan­ger­ous ma­te­ri­als form the site and elec­tri­cians have re­stored the elec­tric­ity sup­ply,” he said.

“Par­ents have ex­pressed con­cern about the safety of the elec­tric­ity sup­ply, but elec­tri­cians have con­firmed that elec­tric­ity at the school is now safe.”

Mo­bile class­rooms and a toi­let have been in­stalled in the in­terim, At­twell said.

He added that the school is safe for oc­cu­pancy un­til a new struc­ture is built in 2019.

“The depart­ment has un­der­taken to re­place Sun­ny­side Pri­mary. The school is one of 113 schools that the depart­ment plans to re­place. These are typ­i­cally plankie skole built of in­ap­pro­pri­ate ma­te­ri­als,” he said. “The depart­ment has not un­der­taken to move Sun­ny­side up the list (though).”

Sun­ny­side act­ing prin­ci­pal Nathaniel Brache said the mo­bile class­rooms had not been as­sem­bled and more mo­bile toi­lets hadn’t ar­rived.

Brache feared that ev­ery­thing might not be com­pli­ant.

“Be­cause the re­spon­si­bil­ity lies on me, we will only put the power on once we see the cer­tifi­cate of com­pli­ance from the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works,” he said.

The com­mu­nity had united to help the school and teach­ers were fo­cused de­spite the cir­cum­stances, Brache added.

He was con­cerned the school may sus­tain fur­ther dam­age by 2019, or pupils be in­jured due to the state of the build­ing.

Gov­ern­ing body chair­per­son Nakier Kar­riem said par­ents were un­happy about the sit­u­a­tion.

“Par­ents are not happy send­ing their chil­dren to school as it might not be safe. There have been com­plaints that there are more class­rooms leak­ing,” he said.

“It seems as though the depart­ment is not con­cerned about the school. We are be­ing treated like we are in apartheid again.”

Kar­riem ques­tioned why Sun­ny­side Pri­mary would be re­built only in 2019.

PIC­TURE: TANYA PETERSEN

Sun­ny­side Pri­mary classes are be­ing taught at a nearby church due to storm dam­age to its build­ing.

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