Collapsed classroom ceiling: EFF Gauteng slams ‘ANC’s failing infrastructure system’

EFF Gauteng slams ‘ANC’s failing infrastructure system’. Picture: File

EFF Gauteng slams ‘ANC’s failing infrastructure system’. Picture: File

Published Feb 28, 2024


The EFF in Gauteng yesterday slammed the collapse of a classroom ceiling in Tembisa this week which left 18 pupils injured, saying the ANC was presiding over a failing infrastructure system.

The party’s spokesperson, Naledi Chirwa, said corruption and mismanagement of funds took centre stage in the province.

The provincial education department hasn’t yet established the cause of the collapse at the Umthembeka primary school.

Chirwa said: “Premier Panyaza Lesufi, former MEC of Basic Education, is particularly implicated in the misallocation of funds intended for public school development.

“The EFF Gauteng urges the parents and the school governing body (SGB) of Umthambeka Primary School to resist manipulation by the department and demands that MEC (Matome) Chiloane makes and fulfils concrete commitments to rectify the crisis of infrastructural decay within a set timeframe,” Chirwa said.

Provincial chairperson Nkululeko Dunga called on parents and community members to remain vigilant regarding the rebuilding process, cautioning against the exploitation of this tragedy for corrupt tenderpreneurship.

Dunga said the school incident reaffirmed the EFF’s stance on the necessity of state-owned companies which would manage the infrastructural needs of communities, including the ongoing development and maintenance of public facilities.

“Outsourcing these essential services is unsustainable and continues to prove to be unsafe for citizens. The EFF Gauteng commits to closely monitoring the response to this incident, as the safety of our children must not be compromised by the ANC government’s negligence.

“The upcoming general elections on 29 May 2024 offers an opportunity for Gauteng residents to get rid of the incompetent ANC,” he said.

Dunga said safety and security should be paramount at public schools, necessitating regular safety assessments.

“Unfortunately, the Gauteng Department of Basic Education, under MEC Matome Chiloane’s leadership, has abandoned efforts to address these infrastructural inadequacies. Despite the gravity of this incident, the MEC is expected to remain unresponsive to the needs of sustaining public school infrastructure.

“Parents and children are often promised investigations that fail to lead to accountability and concrete commitments to improve safety in public schools. This lack of action is glaring, especially considering that education budgets are significant, yet little is done to enhance public school conditions.”

Chiloane said the departmental Psycho-Social Support Team would be dispatched to the school to provide counselling.

“We are indeed concerned by the occurrence of this incident and find it unfortunate that our children were injured in such a manner at school. We would like to wish all affected learners a speedy recovery.

“Furthermore, we call upon SGB members always be vigilant of challenges faced by their schools and report them to the department for necessary attention,” said Chiloane.

According to the department, two learners were recuperating at a local medical facility while others were recuperating at home.

The Star