Construction on one of two new schools has started in Rockies Street, Tafelsig, and is scheduled to be completed in January.
According to the Western Cape Education Department, the site is earmarked for the permanent AZ Berman High School, which is currently situated on the Tafelsig High School grounds, and a mobile start-up primary school.
Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said construction of the high school was envisaged to be finished late in the 2018/19 financial year.
She said it was currently in the planning phase.
“The establishment of the mobile start-up school is in progress. The site was handed over to the contractor on Friday November 24,” she said.
Ms Shelver said the projected completion date was scheduled for January 15.
Sheval Arendse, Tafelsig’s ward councillor and chairperson of Sub-council 12, said the department needed to accommodate new primary school pupils, which was why they had to start by placing container classrooms on the site.
He said Ruben Reddy Architects had been instructed to place nine prefabricated classroom units, one for admin, two for ablutions, one for the feeding kitchen and one storage container, there.
“Over 1 000 Grade 1 applications were received for the new school term in 2018,” he said.
Mr Arendse said he had engaged with the WCED to fast-track the construction of the high school because there were not enough high schools to accommodate the pupils coming from the six primary schools in Tafelsig.
This engagement, he said, dated back as far as 2010.
On the matter of safety, he said because the site was currently unfenced, a 1.8m high galvanised fence with a swinging gate and a pedestrian gate would be erected in the meantime.
The local sub-forum and ward committee chairperson was asked to safeguard the site until completion.
Ms Shelver said Mitchell’s Plain and, in particular, the south east area, experienced huge enrolment pressures. She said the area also had fewer schools than the rest of Mitchell’s Plain.
“Most of the schools in a 3km radius are overutilised, with enrolment per school between 1 200 and 1 800 learners.
“Each year the district is challenged to find suitable accommodation for thousands of learners at schools in the area.
“The site earmarked for AZ Berman High School is large enough to host the permanent AZ Berman High School, and the start-up mobile primary school.
“The availability of the site presented the WCED with the opportunity to fast-track the establishment of a start-up school as land is not easily available,” she said.