Parts of Hoërskool Driehoek reopen as classes resume

Photo: Jannie du Plessis

Photo: Jannie du Plessis

A report approved by the labour department indicates only parts of the school are safe to occupy by students.

Temporary structures have been erected at Hoërskool Driehoek in order for classes to resume today, reports Power FM.

Scores of pupils were injured after a walkway collapsed at the school last Friday, including the four pupils that died.

They have been identified as 17-year-old Rayden Olckers, 13-year-old Marli Carli, 16-year-old Marnus Nagel, and 13-year-old Jandre Steyn.

ALSO READ: Structural assessment on Vanderbijlpark bridge collapse to be conducted soon

The incident occurred just after school assembly as pupils were going to class on the two-metre-high walkway.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi assured parents and students that all those injured would receive medical attention, regardless of whether or not they had medical aid.

Students at Hoërskool Driehoek spoke to Rapport about the walkway bridge feeling unstable two days before it collapsed.

According to them, while walking to class on Wednesday they felt the bridge shake as they walked on it. They recall it was so shaky that they got scared and ran away.

However, the principal of the school, Hein Knoetze, denied that the bridge’s infrastructure was inadequate, adding that a significant amount of the school’s funds were allocated to routine maintenance throughout the year. He was adamant that he walked the bridge several times a day, and never felt it shake.

The labour department conducted a structural assessment with a view to issuing an exemption report, which would allow the school to use certain areas of the property. The report was expected to be issued by Monday.

News24 reports that the report indicated that only parts of the school, namely the gymnasium, lower level classrooms, the admin block and school hall, are safe to occupy by students.

Matric classes will resume on Wednesday, and Grade 11s will be back at school on Thursday.

(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)

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