Bok to swim with sharks to raise funds for school

SPRINGBOK swimmer and wellknown Durban sporting personality Julian Taylor is swimming 25km in shark-infested waters on the South Coast to raise funds for the run-down Danganyana Primary School.

The former Ocean Warriors producer will risk life and limb to raise awareness and funds to fix up the school.

"It is a significant distance in the open seas off the popular Warner Beach and will take place in waters infested with Zambezi, Great White and Tiger Sharks," said Taylor.

"I have approached several people for assistance and was shocked at the complacency and acceptance of the shocking standards at community schools.

"I am determined to help the school and set the acceptable standards for rural schools."

The school was erected in the early 1980s. Today almost 30 years on, the school is home to 300 pupils from Grade R to Grade 7.

A visit to the school shows its shocking state of disrepair.

Children make the daily, arduous pilgrimage to the school where the toilets have not worked for 10 years.

There are 60 pupils in a room which is no bigger than the average bedroom. They sit four to a desk and have limited books and stationery.

The roof leaks and there are no windows to keep the cold wind out.

"We all have children or were children. Imagine being schooled in this squalor.

After meetings with the principal, teachers, parents, local councillors, and regional education representatives, there is clearly way too much finger pointing and no proactive results," said Taylor.

He said he will also compete in a 1000km (7-day) bicycle ride in the United Kingdom to highlight and promote the Danganyana project internationally in August.

He said R750000 was needed to get the school back to an acceptable standard with improved classrooms, proper desks and playground facilities.