Some Limpopo schools reopen despite water shortages, sanitation challenges

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Sadtu also voiced concern over dilapidated buildings and the absence of screeners at some schools in far-flung areas. However, classes were allowed to continue at those schools.

The Limpopo government has allowed grades 7 and 12 to continue with classes at some schools despite challenges of water shortage and sanitation facilities, among others.

Premier Stan Mathabatha and Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs MEC Basikopo Makamu confirmed this after they visited some of them on Monday.

However, the provincial command council (PCC) on Wednesday described the reopening of schools in the province a “success”.

In a statement after its meeting, the PCC said the reopening of schools was a success “throughout the province with only 42 schools who could not open for various reasons”.

“Most of the challenges in the province were the provision of water, sanitation and provision of mobile toilets. All these should have been rectified by this weekend.”

On Monday, Mathabatha was briefed about the challenges at some of the schools he visited.

In the Vhembe region, Makamu was told of the dire situation at Ntodeni Secondary School in Gaba Village by district director Dr Gerson Rambiyani.

Sanitation

Rambiyani spoke about a lack of sanitation and of a tanker that could not cater for drinking water, washing of hands, cooking and for ablution facilities. He said the situation might compromise schooling during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The SA Democratic Teachers Union and Professional Educators Union (Sadtu) also voiced concern over dilapidated buildings and the absence of screeners at some schools in far-flung areas.

However, classes were allowed to continue at those schools.

Meanwhile, the PCC said Limpopo had made 6,000 hospital beds available in anticipation of admissions as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the province.

By Wednesday, the number of cases stood at 263, with mining towns in the Sekhukhune District being the epicentre in the province.

It was against this background the PCC raised concerns as some mines continued to transport its workers in overloaded buses.

Currently, 21,600 mineworkers out of 72,641 have returned to work at 72 mines across the province.

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