Mmusi Maimane says 'action is being taken' over R82m Tembisa 'swamp school'

15 October 2020 - 11:30
One SA leader Mmusi Maimane.
One SA leader Mmusi Maimane.
Image: Twitter/Mmusi Maimane

One SA leader Mmusi Maimane says action is being taken regarding the investigation of a R82m school built on a sewer pipeline in Tembisa, Gauteng.

This comes after Maimane wrote to the office of the public protector to request an investigation into Mayibuye Primary School.

The construction of the school started in 2017 and it was set to open its doors in 2019 but remains closed due to safety concerns. The school cost R82m to build and it's equipped to cater for 1,200 children from grade R to grade 7.

In a response, shared by Maimane on Wednesday, the office of the public protector said its provincial representative Winnie Manyathela would assign “a senior investigator to handle" the matter. 

“Bagaetsho (my people) just to keep you updated. Action is being taken in respect to the R82m swamp school, we cannot continue allowing poor service delivery in our schooling environment,” said Maimane when sharing the news.

In Maimane's letter, sent in September, he said the public protector must get to the bottom of what has gone wrong with the construction of the school.

“The school has to date not been utilised as it cannot obtain an occupancy certificate due to the dangerous terrain on which the school was built. The school is flowing with raw sewerage and its infrastructure is crumbling,” said Maimane.

“It’s a hazardous zone and cannot safely accommodate children. While the debacle ensues, learners are forced to attend school in containers and wendy houses a few hundred metres down the road.

“The alleged maladministration here is that only after the school plans were approved and the school was all but built was a wetland investigation conducted which, according to the department, discovered an old sewer line which had been leaking for years. This is a cop out by the department. We must get to the bottom of what really occurred here.”

Maimane said the investigation should include finding out whether any of the appointed companies involved in the project have links to government employees.