Parents picket outside KZN school

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Angry parents have accused the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education of putting their children’s lives at risk.

They picketed outside Woodlands Primary in Pietermaritzburg complaining about poor conditions at the school.

The school’s walls are dilapidated. There are leaking roofs and broken windows.

Over a thousand learners attend the school.

Angry parents say these bad conditions put the children’s lives at risk.

A parent, Rachel Hemmero, shares their concerns.

“Should a strong wind come, those classes are going to fall and this is the promise that they promised us. They were supposed to have commenced on the 13th of October. The amount that was allocated was R45 million. My appeal is that why haven’t they started the first phase.”

One of the learners at the school has developed painful patches on his head.

His mother says the doctor attributes this to the exposure to asbestos.

“The doctor said he is not the first child to get it and even the tears have it. They have rashes.”

Provincial education authorities say this is not the only school facing this challenge.

MEC for Education Mthandeni Dlungwana, “The challenge we are facing relates to financial challenges. As you know that the situation of the economy is quite bad, so we remain committed that all over the province we will continue to provide the necessary infrastructure.”

The department says teams are on the ground to inspect whether temporary classrooms can be installed.