Wind flattens school

COMPLETELY DESTROYED: The classrooms at Hebron Christian Independent Primary School in Ezibeleni, demolished by strong winds Picture: SUPPLIED

Classroom structures at Hebron Christian Independent Primary School in Ezibeleni were recently destroyed by gusting winds.

Owner of the school, Notozana Peter, said she rushed to the premises after neighbours called to inform her about the damage on Sunday morning. The strong wind had demolished the classrooms which accommodated grades R, 1 and 6.

Peter said the Christian school was established in 2005. It had since been an independent institution, not receiving help from the government.

“The damaged classrooms were a generous donation from a businesswoman I knew some years ago. These classrooms were among the strongest-built structures and I am grateful that pupils were not at the school at the time. They would have been traumatised because the situation was bad. Books were scattered everywhere and a section of our fence had fallen down. It was a mess.”

Peter said pupils were attending classes alternately, making is easy to accommodate them and provide space for all

With no help from the government Peter said she had been knocking on doors without success and had ended up taking funds from her own pension. “We hold prayer services to ask God to talk to His people so we can get assistance. Most of these children come from low socio-economic backgrounds so we do not charge much for fees, but the challenge is that parents do not pay. In this time, all we need is building material so we can have classrooms for the children again.”

DA PR councillor Lunga Tokwe said Peter had made an appeal to them to assist her in acquiring the land so she could build a proper structure. “The steps we have taken so far are to speak to officials from human settlement for her to get the land. What has held us back is that there is no recognised policy for them (human settlement) to release the land. We are still pushing. The speaker and the mayor are also willing to assist. Sadly, there were people who had money to help her build but they could not, because she does not own the land. What she really needs is a proper structure so that parents can also be encouraged,” she said.

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