By Khume Ramulifho MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC of Education:
These remarks were delivered today by the DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL and DA Ekurhuleni Ward 97 Councillor, Veronica Dyson, at an inspection visit to the abandoned Brakpan Primary School.
The Gauteng Provincial Department of Education has spent just over R1.3 million for private security to guard the derelict Brakpan Primary School.
Since 2012 the department has spent over R8 million on private security for abandoned schools in the province. However, functional schools with learners, teachers and school facilities have no strong security measures put in place.
The DA visited the desolate site and the inspection was intended to see the benefits of hiring a private security company to protect the school.
The school is closed down and not in use. What we witnessed here is shocking, while the overgrown trees, grass and shrubs pose a major safety risk to residents in the community.
There is nothing to look after.
Brakpan Primary is part of a larger problem in the province, and it remains unclear why the department set aside over R4.3 million for the 2015/16 financial year just on private security to guard shut down and derelict schools.
This can only be intended to benefit the closed-crony network in the ANC, as the schools are in a particularly bad state.
The DA will probe all the private security service providers in order to get to the bottom of this matter.
The DA believes that the motive behind these security tenders are to benefit friends of senior officials or the politically connected few – as the contracts add no value.
The Department of Infrastructure Development would do well to dispose of all closed schools where the Education Department indicated no interest – to utilise before they deteriorate even further.
(Click here for images of the Brakpan Primary School).