135 schools damaged by Western Cape storms
Aphiwe Deklerk‚ Cape Town Newsroom | 2017-06-09 11:21:52.0
The Knysna High School Hostel, Huis Volhard, was burnt during the fires on Wednesday.
Image by: Fire24Med via Twitter
The Western Cape Department of Education has reported that this week’s heavy storm has damaged 135 schools in the province.
The province shut down schools on Wednesday in anticipation of the damage.
In a statement on Friday‚ Education MEC Debbie Schafer said she was pleased that teaching in most schools had resumed.
However‚ several schools have had to suspend teaching for a few more days.
“By Thursday‚ 135 schools had reported storm damage to our Safe Schools Call Centre with 41 schools reporting damage to the school roofs. 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‚” she said.
Schools had also reported water damage to classrooms‚ fallen trees and broken fences.
“We are reporting all cases immediately to the Provincial Department of Transport and Public Works. The Head of the Provincial Department of Transport and Public Works has activated emergency procurement measures which will 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‚” she added.
She said the department has sent inspectors to the worst-hit schools and would determine a strategy going forward after receiving a report of the total cost and extent of the damage.
“Schools need to be made operational as soon as possible‚ which means that we will have to prioritise damages that affect the core functioning of the school‚ such as damage to classrooms‚ ablutions and administration blocks‚” she added.
The damage comes as children are writing their mid-year exams.
“We deeply appreciate the understanding of parents‚ principals and teachers‚ and their willingness to work with our officials in meeting these challenges positively‚” she added.
WATCH: ‘We have lost everything’ – Knysna resident
– TMG Digital/TimesLIVE