No more classes under trees for 27 schools

No more classes under trees for 27 schools. © Unknown.
No more classes under trees for 27 schools. © Unknown.

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The Sefoto Primary School in Limpopo is one of the 27 schools in South Africa to benefit from a donation of R100million from the European Union (EU).

The Sefoto Primary is in the Blouberg municipality near Polokwane.

The EU made the donation through the national Department of Education to help address the chronic shortage of schools in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.

The money has been used to build nine new schools in each of the three provinces.

The new schools boast new buildings, furniture, water, sanitation, electricity and palisade fencing.

The official handing over of the schools took place at a ceremony in Sefoto on Friday.

Minister of Education Naledi Pando, who was received with loud cheers during the function, said the aim of the government and the department was to make sure that pupils did not attend lessons under trees nor in mud or shack classrooms.

Pandor said the department would need a lot of financial muscle from the government and from donors to address backlogs in education infrastructure.

"In 1998 the education infrastructure budget was R481million," said Pandor.

"A decade later, in 2007, the education infrastructure budget had ballooned to R3,9billion.

"In 2010 it is set to expand to R5,2billion.

"The burden is huge and that is why we look for partners with experience and expertise to share this burden with government."

The Limpopo MEC for education, Aaron Motsoaledi, said about 120 schools in the province were dilapidated and new ones needed to be built.

However, only nine of these schools were currently being built.

He said the department would also build 27 new schools soon to meet the demand for education.