State rejects bid to build demolished schools

TWO schools demolished to make way for the 2010 Mbombela Stadium could have been rebuilt had the Mpumalanga government not blocked the move.

Early last year cellular giant Vodacom approached the provincial education department with an offer to rebuild John Mdluli Primary and Cyril Clarke Secondary schools but was turned down by then department head Ray Tywakadi.

The province has been criticised for failing to honour its promise to rebuild the schools that were demolished in 2007.

In recent weeks violent protests erupted in Mattafin as pupils demanded that the government rebuild the schools.

Vodacom is now in discussions with the national Education Department to build a school in Limpopo with the money it had offered for the two schools.

Vodacom Foundation chairperson Mthobi Tyamzashe said yesterday: "Since our establishment we have been working closely with the Education Department to identify areas in the various provinces and build schools on a 50-50 funding model."

Tyamzashe said he had no idea why the Mpumalanga education department turned down their offer and referred further questions to the department.

He said Vodacom had partnered with the provincial education departments to build schools in the Free State, North West and Eastern Cape.

Mpumalanga education spokesperson Jasper Zwane asked for more time when asked about their reason for not accepting the offer.