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Overcrowding Woes Continue as Construction Delays Plague Dunoon High School

Published March 13, 2024
2 months ago

Inkwenkwezi Secondary School in Dunoon, Cape Town, confronts a severe overcrowding issue with the delay in the construction of new classrooms, essential for accommodating the swelling number of learners. The school, currently serving as the only high school option in the Dunoon township, is home to more than 1,500 learners, maintaining an average classroom density of approximately 45 students.

The burgeoning student population has compelled many Dunoon families to find alternatives for their children, including Bloubergrant High located 2 kilometers away, and Sinenjongo High School in the nearby Joe Slovo Park, which is roughly 7 kilometers from Dunoon. Sinethembe Matomela, the chairperson of the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) Dunoon branch, highlighted the community's dilemma, emphasizing the extra costs borne by parents due to insufficient local schooling options.

To alleviate the pressure, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) set in motion a project to construct 14 additional classrooms at Inkwenkwezi Secondary using the innovative "Moladi" technique, set to be completed by March 2023. However, the project hit a wall when the main contractor faced financial difficulties and failed to pay subcontractors, leading to an unscheduled and complete work stoppage. To date, only half of the planned classrooms are usable.

Kerry Mauchline, spokesperson for the provincial education MEC David Maynier, confirmed that the issues stemmed from a singularly certified contracting process, unique to the "Moladi" system, and admitted the necessity to terminate the existing contract. The department now seeks a rapid resolution by sourcing a new contractor, though no definitive completion date can be currently provided, leaving the school in a precarious state of uncertainty.

The plight at Dunoon's Inkwenkwezi Secondary School underscores the broader challenges within the education sector in providing adequate infrastructure timely and efficiently. As parents and learners anxiously await the fulfillment of the project, the WCED has been pressed to demonstrate effective management and coordination in overcoming the barriers that delay educational progress in the community.

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