Department Earmarks R 346 m Towards School Infrastructure


Kimberley -By the end of the 2014 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTEF) period, more learners from the John Taolo Gaetsewe district will no longer have to walk distances or be bussed to schools far away from their homes. This will be thanks to the provincial Department of Education which is ramping up its school infrastructure project list earmarked for the district.


When delivering her budget speech recently, MEC for Education, Grizelda Cjiekella–Lecholo said while 39 schools in the province have already been identified to go under refurbishment during the current financial year, the Department will be building more schools in the JTG district this financial year. She said her department has set aside millions to address infrastructure backlog in JTG, maintenance and refurbishment of schools.


“We are gearing ourselves to making significant impact in the JTG area through major investment in infrastructure projects. We have set aside R346 m towards school based projects and this will include building of new schools. We will be building Matjieskloof, Wrenchville, Emmanuel HS and Jan Kemp Dorp high school. Last year, we managed to build four schools in the Z F Mqcawu district namely Louisville, Kakamas, Pabalello and St Johns which collectively cost an estimated R 162 m,” said MEC.


The MEC said not only new schools worth millions will be built, also schools hostels to provide accommodation. A total of R 100 m is set aside for school hostels construction in order to alleviate learners transport challenges.


“The schools hostels will be built in Batlharo -Tlhaping, Lesedi and Kitlanyang areas respectively. The school hostels will bring major relief to the challenge of learner transport and provide a much needed impetus to improve learner performance through daily supervision and the provisioning of guided evening studies,” explained Cjiekella-Lecholo.


As part of the Department’s commitment to address school infrastructure backlog in JTG, a total of 17 projects were recently completed, with some still underway. Thirteen (13) of these projects are located in the Joe Morolong local municipality and the balance is in Ga-Segonyana local municipality. Over R24 m was spend on these projects which included the five (5) new classrooms and a new science laboratory at Iketleletso Intermediate School in the Joe Morolong local municipality. This project alone cost an estimated R 2, 7m. Teachers at Pitso Jantjie Secondary are no longer cramped in a small congested staff room. A new large administrative block and science laboratory worth R 3,3m was built at the school.


Following the Manganese and Iron Ore rush in the Kuruman and Kathu areas, the neighbouring schools in the area are bearing the brunt of the influx of more and more learners in areas surrounding the fast developing town of Kuruman. Most schools in the area are recording more than 700 plus learners in their roll year on year, which puts pressure on limited resources. Some of the school infrastructure projects earmarked by the Department will address this very challenge.


Mining companies operating in the JTG district have also heaped their weight behind the education sector in the province. Companies like BHP Billiton, Kumba Iron Ore, Kolomela mine, Assmang are but some of the companies that continue to make significant cash injections in the JTG schools particularly in the Early Childhood Development.