R1bn set aside to upgrade schools

THE Limpopo department of education has declared 2010-11 financial year the year of mass construction and better schooling.

The department plans to build laboratories, administration blocks, classrooms and toilets and to supply water in bulk to schools that have no water

MEC Dickson Masemola said yesterday the department had set aside R1billion to address the needs of the schools.

"We intend to use the money to build 28 laboratories at 14 schools, 23 administration blocks at 23 schools, construct 844 pit and flushing toilets at 60 schools, supply water in bulk to 35 schools and electrify 23 schools of which seven would be state-of-the-art schools," Masemola said.

He said the department would further rehabilitate 214 schools that were destroyed by storms last year .

"The money involved in addressing these has been increased by more than R130million as compared with the R863 million spent last year.

"We have also built 686 classrooms, 21 laboratories, 20 administration blocks, 1062 pit and flush toilets and 11 schools and electrified 150 schools and supplied them with running water.

"Some of the schools are Sevengwane in Mamitwa area, Green Site in an RDP settlement outside Polokwane, Nthame in Burgersfort, Tshilongo in Malamulele and Morukhurukhu in Gaseleka in the Lephalale area," Masemola said.

Provincial chairman for Limpopo school governing bodies Hitler Morwatshehla said the new budget would help restore dignity among pupils and teachers.

He said the improvements would also help reduce bunking of classes by the pupils.