Despite claims by the Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi that there are no schools in Gauteng without a supply of electricity and water, the DA has learnt that this is not the case.
This was revealed by MEC Lesufi in a written reply to the DA questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
According to the MEC, all farm schools in the province have running water and electricity except, Duzenendlela School, Rethabile Primary School and Thabotona Primary School. Duzenendlela School and Rethabile Primary Schools receive water via tanker delivery while Thabotona Primary School relies on a generator for power.
Furthermore, the MEC said that the department provides generators and water tanks to all schools that are not connected to municipal services.
The DA has inspected several schools across the province, including farm schools and we discovered that the department does supply generators. However, the generators do not always have the capacity to supply electricity to the entire school. At the Glenvista Primary School, South of Johannesburg, there is a generator but it only powers the staff room and the rest of the classrooms do not have electricity.
The same applies at Leeuwfontein Farm Primary School in Pretoria, which also has challenges with water and electricity supply.
In most cases, the suppliers of water tankers are not reliable – sometimes schools will be without water for days due to delivery delays or supply less quantity. In terms of generators, some schools run short of money to buy petrol.
The department cannot say that there are no schools without a supply of electricity and water when the suppliers are failing to deliver timeously which indicates that schools do not have access to these services.
Access to water and electricity, particularly in schools, is a basic human right, and as such, it is the department’s duty to ensure equitable access across all our provinces’ schools.
We are disappointed to learn that the department has no plans to relocate the farm schools to areas where there is running water and electricity.
The DA calls on the MEC to implement a monitoring system to ensure that service providers are delivering the goods and services as per their contractual obligations, and that no school is disadvantaged due to a lack of access of water and electricity.
Come 2019, the DA will bring about Change to all learners in Gauteng.