Thu. Jan 23rd, 2020

Lesufi: Noordgesig Primary in Soweto replaces ‘apartheid asbestos school’

The brand new Noordgesig Primary School in Soweto, Gauteng will accommodate more than 1 800 learners from Grade R to Grade seven in 2020.

lesufi noordgesig primary in soweto replaces apartheid asbestos school - Lesufi: Noordgesig Primary in Soweto replaces ‘apartheid asbestos school’

Now referred to as a replacement school rather than a refurbishment project, the brand new Noordgesig Primary School in Soweto, Gauteng will be handed over to the community on Wednesday 15 January 2020 by the MEC for Infrastructure Development and Property Management Tasneem Motara. 

Panyaza Lesufi has been serving as the Gauteng MEC for Education since 31 May 2019. He tweeted on Monday 13 January 2020 that they have taken an “apartheid asbestos school” to a “post-apartheid beauty.” 

“People of Noordgesig, from tomorrow, this beauty is all yours forever! Restoring the dignity of our people school by school every month,” he said. 

Noordgesig Primary School features 

Some have seen the new Noordgesig Primary School as a renovation project, however, Department of Infrastructure Development spokesperson Bongiwe Gambu said it is a replacement school. 

“The old asbestos structure is opposite the new school,” said Gambu. 

The shiny new school is situated at 800 Bergroos Street, Soweto, Gauteng. According to the department, the facility will cater for learners from Grade R to Grade seven and is a modern information technology-based facility. 

“Its unique design based on limited space of the site incorporates the Department of Education National Schools Infrastructure norms and standards.” 

Development spokesperson Bongiwe Gambu

The school falls in the mega school category and due to the size, responds to the demand trends encountered across the province. The school will accommodate more than 1 800 learners.

Green design features at Noordgesig Primary School 

Green Design features at the school include: 

  • Fenestration (maximizes natural light and air circulation into the building and reduces energy loss from the building);
  • Energy-saving lighting (LED Light fittings); 
  • And solar water heating
37728eb6 screenshot 2020 01 13 at 15.04.11 - Lesufi: Noordgesig Primary in Soweto replaces ‘apartheid asbestos school’
Image via: @Lesufi Twitter

Education to be accessible to learners across SA 

Motara said all South Africans have the right to basic education

“As the articulated by the Bill of Rights of the country’s Constitution, the state has an obligation, through reasonable measures, to progressively make infrastructure and education available and accessible to learners across the region,” said Motara. 

“We are delighted to have been entrusted with such a big project, one that will positively contribute to the Gauteng Provincial Government’s infrastructure commitments. This school is not just brick and mortar, it will also go a long way in ensuring that there is economic growth in the area as a result of the project,” she added. 

Motara said she hopes the school will be well looked after. “They have been anxiously waiting for the school, and have cooperated very well to secure the site during construction.”

On-site training at Noordgesig

The school took a total of 72 weeks to build and 42 local sub-contractors were employed in the process. 

The Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management took 149 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) participants under their wing to be trained whilst on the project. 

“Subsequently, 30 of these participants participated in the on-site training programme and now specialize in plumbing, electrical, bricklaying and plastering,” said Gambu.  

Conducted by the Johannesburg Institute of Engineering and Training, the coaching started in October 2018 and is set to be completed on 15 February 2020. Trainees will receive a certificate upon completion of the Training.

The following list of courses were offered to the trainees: 

  • Plumbing; 
  • Electrical; 
  • Bricklaying and Plastering. 

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