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GAUTENG INVESTS IN BUILDING NEW SCHOOLS TO ADDRESS OVERCROWDING

SA News | 21 February 2023

The Gauteng provincial government intends to address overcrowding in schools, which is exacerbated by high levels of in-migration, by building new schools in high-pressure communities.


“Unless we do something differently, our education system will collapse. Addressing this issue and learning from the experience of unplaced learners in Grades 1 and 8, Gauteng has budgeted R6 billion from our provincial coffers to build new schools in high pressured communities,” Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said on Monday.


Delivering his State of the Province Address in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Lesufi said the province has received a major boost of R1.5 billion from National Treasury to demolish mobile and asbestos schools. The province will rebuild 18 new schools in Gauteng.


For the first time, the province will access resources from the private sector financial institutions to fund infrastructure projects upfront, after which they will be built, maintained, transferred and handed over to the province.


“Within the coming weeks, we are going to the market to solicit proposals from private companies to build these schools. We will not compromise on BEE [Black economic empowerment] and township beneficiation.


"To give our learners a competitive edge and to prepare them for the post-matric world, we will continue to roll out Schools of Specialisation,” the Premier said.


To date, Gauteng has 21 Schools of Specialisation and by the end of this administration, it is set to have 35.


The Premier said the number of children registered in Early Childhood Development (ECD) sites has increased.


“As part of the process to bolster our education system, we are now ready to build an ECD of the future, starting with Tshwane (in Soshanguve). We are committed to rolling out ECDs of the future across the five corridors.


“The ECD of the future will have classrooms with indoor splash pools, information and communications technology (ICT) centres, a water recycling area and mini sports areas. Coding and Robotics will gradually be introduced into the curriculum to meet the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR),” Lesufi said.


Youth development


Over the years, Gauteng has committed to procure goods and services from youth-owned businesses.


Between April and December 2022, procurement spend amounted to R1.6 billion in youth-owned companies.


“As a province, we continue to place youth development at the centre of our planning. I am happy to announce that the Provincial Cabinet has approved the Gauteng Integrated Youth Development Strategy (GYIDS) 2030.


“The Youth Strategy is a blueprint of how this government will respond comprehensively to the socio-economic challenges facing young people in our province. The future belongs to young people and they must be taught now to run government,” the Premier said.


The Gauteng Youth Advisory Panel members, in addition to providing oversight, have also been assigned to departments to participate in strategic decision-making processes that have an impact on youth development.


“Through the Presidential Youth Employment Stimulus programme, the province has provided more than 100 000 youth with workplace experiences.


“By the end of this term, 152 000 young people would be employed by this provincial government. Of this, 100 000 [will be in] our Expanded Public Works Programme, 40 000 [in] educational and general teacher assistance [posts] and 6 000 [in] Crime Prevention Warden [posts].


“Over the years, we have committed to ensuring the inclusion of people with disabilities in all of our programmes. We have set a target of 7% in the procurement spend and support for companies owned by people with disabilities.


“We note that our performance is not at the level at which we had envisioned and therefore, recommit ourselves to empower people with disabilities,” the Premier said. – SAnews.gov.za


‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’


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