The Western Cape Education Department has announced an ambitious project that is set to deliver nearly 1000 classrooms, able to accommodate more than 25,000 learners.
According to the provincial Minister of Education, David Maynier, the unprecedented school build promises to offer quality education to tens of thousands of additional learners.
“These numbers vastly exceed the delivery of classrooms in previous years, and has been made possible due to an R830 million increase in the infrastructure budget in 2022/23 and greater flexibility in implementing our infrastructure programme,” Maynier explained.
This unprecedented school build includes three brick and mortar new and replacement schools with 46 additional classrooms (Moorreesburg High School; Chatsworth Primary School; and Perivale Primary School).
Five new mobile schools will offer 50 additional classrooms (Klapmuts – high school; Klapmuts – primary school; Lwandle – high school; Tafelsig – high school; and Mitchell’s Plain – high school).
A total of 645 additional classrooms and seven Rapid School Build projects, adding another 101 classes, are also on the cards in Delft, Atlantis, Rivergate, Lwandle, Wallacedene, Hout Bay and Century City.
“We have already completed 164 classrooms planned for next year, and a further 510 are scheduled for completion by January 2023, with the final 168 by March 2023.”
Maynier added that there were several challenges facing the project, including labour concerns and building supplies. “We must all work together to prioritise the delivery of school infrastructure for our children, so that we have plenty of space ready for new learners arriving for the 2023 school year.”
Maynier added that WCED had received applications for 117,270 learners for Grades 1 and 8 for the 2023 school year, of which 22,113 were received late.
“As of 3 November 2022, we have placed 100 302, or 89.1%, of the Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for the 2023 school year, and are in the process of placing 12 786, or 10.9%, of the Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for the 2023 school year.”
“However, this does not take into account the extremely late applications that we expect to receive from the end of this year onwards. Last year, we received over 7 900 extremely late applications for the 2022 school year, with most of those arriving after January 2022.”
“For this reason, we are aiming to build many more schools and classrooms than previously, with double the number of new places compared to the number of learners we are still finalising placement for.”