Katlego Suzan Phala (MPL)
DA Spokesperson on Women, Youth and Disability:
During an oversight visit to Banabathari Special School in Solomondale outside Polokwane, the DA uncovered serious neglect of facilities and amenities for special needs learners.
The DA will urgently file probing questions to the various department such as department of Education and Health and Social Development to determine how this situation has come about and who is responsible.
The school does not have health professionals such as nurses, a psychologist, social workers and a physiotherapist to assist the learners on a daily basis as is required.
The department has failed to replace two nurses who resigned early last year.
All the gym equipment for rehabilitation is broken at Banabathari, while the Limpopo Department of Arts and Culture has gym equipments worth millions in storage at the offices of the Limpopo Academy of Sports gathering dust.
Last year, Premier Mathabatha promised learner transport to all learners in need, but only 20 out of 253 currently attending Banabathari who desperately need scholar transport, are provided for.
The school used to have access to a bus but it is no longer roadworthy and therefore cannot been used.
The educators at Banabathari allege that Premier Mathabatha was made aware of all the challenges during his visit on Mandela day and that he promised to intervene before the end of 2014, but to date no action has been taken.
The DA urges Premier Mathabatha to urgently fulfil his promises by engaging MEC’s of relevant departments to assist the school.
The DA will use information obtained through questions to uncover the true culprits of this neglect, and will hold them to account.