I am appalled by the Department of Education’s inaction in dealing with the issue of Khumbulani High School which burned down in 2010. The decrepit school grounds have become a crime hot spot in North End, Port Elizabeth.
Under a DA government, positive change would be brought to this community. The DA would pull out all the stops to ensure that women and children reside in safe residential areas where they are free from fear of violent attacks.
I issued a statement in August 2010 exposing the Khumbulani High School issue; the school was destroyed in a blaze. (See Editor’s Notes as well).
I have pleaded with the Department of Education on numerous occasions over the years to deal with the issue by demolishing the school which has become a breeding ground for criminal activity. Vagrants who occupy the premises have allegedly taunted local residents and stolen items from surrounding properties.
The MEC, Mandla Makupula, stated in a response that was received by the DA in August 2015 that the school has been placed on the disaster list for rebuilding in 2016. I have discovered that the school has not been included on the list of schools that are in line for reconstruction for the 2016/17 financial year according to the Estimates of the Provincial Revenue and Expenditure (EPRE) 2016/17 report.
The MEC has provided us with false information and has misled the North End community which has been badly affected by the incidences that have taken place on the dilapidated school grounds.
The Department is clearly not concerned about the displaced pupils of Khumbulani High School or the fact that the rundown school poses a major threat to the safety of women and young children in the area.
I have submitted a letter to the MEC and the Acting Superintendent General, Sizakele Netshilaphala, urging them once again to prioritise this issue and provide me with concrete steps that their Department will take to ensure that the issue is dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Edmund van Vuuren
Editor: The North End building housing Khumbulani was built in 1917. In November 2014 the DA gave notice of laying charge of negligence against the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape (see: DA lays negligence charge against the EC Department of Education) – I wonder; “Was the docket mislaid, was the charge chucked out of court, was it just an empty drum beating or did the DA fail to lay the charge?