On the June 3, 2020, Karibu! went to Phororong Primary School in Merafong (in Gauteng) as part of the monitoring of schools’ readiness during COVID-19 that Khanya College has been involved in.
In 2016, the Merafong Municipality had instructed the school to vacate the building with immediate effect until the local authority had granted permission in writing that the building may be occupied or used. Despite this, the school continues to operate.
On September 8, 2016, an Environmental Health Practitioner of the West Rand District Municipality Health Services Section and Building inspectors from Merafong Local Municipality conducted a joint inspection at Phororong Primary School to monitor and enforce compliance. In previous inspections, the inspectors had identified loose window frames in all classrooms from A and B section. This matter was of concern because the safety of the learners was compromised as the frames could fall out at any time, and injure learners.
Rather than fix the frames, the school closed off the few windows that were loose. This has led to insufficient ventilation in all classrooms in block A and B classrooms. As a result of the school’s failure to comply with the Environmental Health Practitioner’s recommendations to fix the windows, a joint inspection was necessary.
The joint inspection report revealed that the school building’s windows of Blocks A and B had been altered and therefore could not open for ventilation, and that the said alterations are unsafe and unhealthy. This would jeopardise the safety and health of the learners and the teachers, and was therefore a contravention of Act 12 (4), (5) of the National Buidling Regulations and Building Standard Act (Act 103 of 1977).
The Phororong Primary School has still not complied with the requirements of the 2016 inspection, and has not been granted permission to operate by the local authority. Therefore, the school must cease any activity until the situation is rectified. But despite this, the school continues to stay open for teachers, support staff and learners.
This article was submitted on 4 June 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.