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Unsafe Primary School Classrooms Closed As Cracks Pose Threat Of Collapse

Unsafe Primary School Classrooms Closed As Cracks Pose Threat Of Collapse.. The department of employment and labour’s inspectorate in Limpopo has banned the use of some classrooms at a primary school where cracks pose a threat of potentially deadly collapse.

 

Concerned parents lodged a complaint early in April about “unsafe classrooms” with cracks visible from inside and outside Kgwatlhele Primary School outside Mokopane.

A notice for a reactive inspection was served on the school principal.

The department said parts of the building were “prohibited” based on these findings:

  • the use of block E and F with cracks that were visible from inside and outside the building posed an immediate danger of structural failure or collapse and may cause death to people;
  • the use of classroom grade 1A of building block A with cracks visible from inside and outside the building posed the same danger; and
  • the use of the admin building block with cracks visible from the bottom of the foundation level to the roof of the building (inside & outside) posed the same danger.
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“Subsequent to the prohibition notice issued, the department of basic education was also issued with a contravention notice for failing to conduct a hazards identification and risk assessment, failing to ensure that the electrical installation is done safely by a competent person, and not producing a copy of the certificate of compliance (COC) for electrical installation as it is a legal requirement to assure the building users and inspectors that the installation is safe,” the department said.

Acting provincial chief inspector Reckson Tshishivheli said: “The department is aware of the impact that the closure may have on the curriculum, but the specialist prohibited the school blocks in the interest of safeguarding lives which is more important than education.

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“Our inspectors are mandated to protect the lives of people and we are serious about enforcing health and safety legislation.

“We encourage the public and employees who find themselves in hazardous situations to bring it to the attention of the department for inspections to be conducted. The department has zero tolerance for non-compliance and will prioritise the health and safety of people in the public and private sector.”

Prohibited sections of the school will stay closed until the department of basic education corrects the non-compliance issues.

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