Phase one of rebuilding, renovating and altering the state of Lindile Secondary School, began in earnest on Monday, 23 April, and will see the school get a much-needed face-lift.
As reported recently by the Highvelder, the Mpumalanga Department of Education (DoE) has released money after numerous calls for assistance at the school.
The school building was in a dilapidated state with sewage running rampant on the school grounds from a sewerage plant on the premises.
A march led by the SACP, saw the community of Wesselton come together in support of the learners, teachers and parents.
Learners missed three weeks of the school programme, but went back after promises from the DoE and the municipality were made.
Phase one will see Block C and D, where Grade 8 and 9 classes are held, being refurbished with a new roof and ceilings.
This will cost a total of R816 225.
The school’s toilets are also on the agenda and will cost a total of R292 566.
The kitchen, which was closed down during the protest action due to fears of contamination as the sewage was flowing near the doors, will receive an injection of R573 480.
That budget also includes the renovation of the school library.
There will also be general work done on site and electrical installations in various classrooms with the budget for the whole of phase one totalling R4 396 471-million.
Sources at the school confirmed a contractor, under the watchful eye of the DoE and the Department of Public Works, was on site on Monday.
Although the contractor is a welcome sight, a detailed scope of work and where the money is going. is yet to be seen by the school.
“We do not know how much money is going into buying of materials and who is doing what, where and when,” a concerned teacher said.
He also said they hope and pray the money is used accordingly and renovations and alterations are up to standard.
Work being done is a relief for affected parties, however, one outstanding burning issue is the flowing sewage coming from a nearby pump.
According to Mr Mbali Cindi, a teacher, the municipality is yet to honour its commitment of attending to the matter.
“Instead they are providing short term solutions by coming regularly to the school to unblock the sewerage pump,” Mr Cindi said.
He was alluding to the fact that the municipality promised to get a contractor on site to provide a long term solution to a problem that has been affecting the school for more than 10 years.
To date, no contractor to fix the sewerage pump, has been at the school.
However, Mr Cindi said not all is lost.
The school has introduced a catch-up programme to get the learners up to date with the school curriculum after missing three weeks of school.
“Teachers in the critical subjects of mathematics and science, are presenting morning and weekend classes so the learners are not left behind,” Mr Cindi also said.
Phase one is expected to be completed in four months time and phase two will begin upon completion.
The DoE has allocated an estimated total of R9-million for the complete renovation of the school.