schools rebuilt

CYRIL Clark Secondary and John Mdluli Primary schools, demolished to make way for the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, will be rebuilt by the end of March next year.

Pupils at these schools are being taught in makeshift class rooms after their relocation when the government demolished tore down the schools to make way for the stadium two years ago.

Last year pupils from both schools protested against the government's failure to provide replacement schools. This compelled the provincial government to start building the schools.

The protests, which left a marked police BMW torched and several pupils injured as a result of police action, lasted nearly two weeks.

The provincial education MEC Regina Mhaule visited the site yesterday to inspect the progress made.

"I'm encouraged by what I see here. This is work in progress and if construction continues at this pace we will meet our deadlines," an upbeat Mhaule said.

Pupils from Cyril Clark told Sowetan that they were happy the two schools would be ready for occupation next year.

"We hope the government sticks to the deadlines it had set because it had always taken us for granted," a pupil said.

The pupil also told Sowetan that they were prevented from speaking to the media about the schools after last year's protest action.

Provincial education department spokesman Jasper Zwane said they would continue to monitor the projects closely to ensure that they progressed in line with the government's plan.

The main contractor, Mpfumelelo Business Enterprise, represented by Suzan Nyathi, told Sowetan that it was an honour to be responsible for the construction of the historic schools.

"We are doing everything possible to produce the best products.

"We want to do this because both schools have a special connection with the 2010 Soccer World Cup," Nyathi said.