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To: The Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDoE) and Eastern Cape HOD, Themba Kojana
Fix all schools whose infrastructure pose an immediate threat to learners
1. Visit and prioritize the renovations of Mjaliswa Junior Secondary School, Tolikana Primary School both in Libode, Mjanyelwa JSS and Lower Ntlaza Primary School by August 3 2017.
2.Prepare a budget plan for the upgrading of these schools and make public the Implementing Agent and the date within which the work will be done soon after the schools visits.
3.By end of August 2017, create a blacklist of Implementing Agents which are lagging in completing the construction of other schools and deduct penalties for slow progress of construction, especially those responsible for the building of Vukile Tshwete School.
Why is this important?
The first deadline (29 November 2016) of the Minimum Regulations for Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure (Norms and Standards) was missed by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) . This means that we do not know the full status on the condition of the schools affected.
On the same month of the deadline, Equal Education visited 60 schools in 7 districts in the Eastern Cape to investigate whether the DBE had complied with the legally binding mandate of the Norms and Standards. Out of the 60 schools visited by Equal Education, 17 were in a state which outright violates the law.
GroundUp also recently ran an article on learners at Isiseko Junior Secondary School in Centane Nontshinga village near Kei Mouth who are forced to kneel on the floor and use broken chairs as desks because of lack of furniture. All the classrooms are leaking, some have broken windows and doors which will make learning extremely challenging this winter. This school also relies on rain water from two tanks.
When approached by GroundUp on the Isiseko matter, the Provincial Education Department’s director of infrastructure delivery Tsepo Pefole said that the Eastern Cape had an infrastructure backlog of R52bn and needed at least R6bn a year for the next 17 years. But at the moment, he said, the department had only R1.5 billion a year. Pefole said the department was working to fix all schools which needed to be fixed 
It is worrying that learners are subjected to these intolerable conditions still in 2017.