Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
12 Apr 2021
5:01 pm

MEC Lesufi blames municipality for Soweto school water crisis

Siyanda Ndlovu

'We have been fighting this battle of lack of water for the last five years and the municipality just ignored us.' Lesufi said.

Picture: iStock/ banusevim

 

Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi has distanced himself and the department from the Goza school water crisis in Soweto.

EWN reported on Monday the school has not had running water for the past six years despite “promises by the department” to intervene and have the problem fixed.

Lesufi was responding to 702’s Bongani Bingwa’s tweet on Monday.

“How can the Gauteng Dept of Education spend nearly half a billion rand deep cleaning schools when no learners were there and fail to provide safe drinking water for a Soweto school for six years??? How do our leaders sleep at night???” Bingwa asked in a tweet.

“Sometimes to ask politely rather than rush to cast aspersions can assist,” Lesufi said in his response.

“The function to provide water is with the municipality, not me,” reads Lesufi’s tweet.

“We have been fighting this battle of lack of water for the last five years and the municipality just ignored us. Here’s documentary proof. The mandate to provide water lies with the municipality and we can only plead with them.”

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According to the report, the school accommodates 1,400 pupils who cannot flush toilets, or wash their hands properly because of the “severely restricted water flow.”

Lesufi also tweeted some of the responses that were posted to his department on why the school had been neglected despite his promises some six years ago.

“Given the mandate to the GDID to subdivide and rezone the land, it should be noted that the ownership of land in question still vests with the national Republic of South Africa. The GDE depends on the process followed by the GDID and the national government as custodians of government properties.”

Lesufi went on to clarify that the Special Investigating Unit was still busy with investigations into the nearly billion rand spent on the deep cleaning of empty schools, saying that he was not being investigated in the process.

“Let’s also wait for the SIU to conclude their investigations and for the record, as of today I’m not under any form of investigation,” Lesufi said.