Newspaper clipping – iol online – 21 April 2010

KZN earmarks funds for new classrooms

More than R2-billion has been set aside for the building of classrooms, Education MEC John Mchunu announced on Wednesday.
“This financial year an amount of R2-billion has been set aside for infra-structural developments, “ said Mchunu delivering the R29-billion budget in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature in Pietermaritzburg.

The money would be used among other things for building 20 new schools, he said. This would include 2000 ordinary classrooms and 60 multi-purpose classrooms, 300 administration centres with offices, storerooms and staff rooms.
“Water will be provided to 200 schools and an additional 3 200 toilets will be built and 200 more schools will be electrified. One hundred schools will have their fences upgraded,” he said.

Mchunu said R26-million had been ring-fenced for recapitalisation of four historically disadvantaged boarding schools, Mlokothwa, Siyamukela, Vryheid Comprehensive and Escourt high schools.

He said his department felt that a massive injection of capital was a correct way of dealing with infrastructure backlogs.
“The department continues on a multi prong approach to address backlogs in the provision of classrooms, administrative offices, toilets, computer and science laboratories and media centres,” said Mchunu.

He said his department faced a challenge of rebuilding schools ravaged by storms.
“The majority of schools that sustain extensive storm damages are in rural areas and had been constructed by communities themselves, some without any subsidies, “ he said.

Five hundred and fifty-five schools had been damaged by storms since 2008. It would cost the department R234-million to repair them, he said. “This is over and above the infrastructure backlog of 7 550 standard classrooms, 9 936 toilet seats and 3 435 administration blocks,” he said. - Sapa