Bothasig High School draws flak from residents

Bothasig residents have raised concerns about conditions at Bothasig High School.

It’s been six months since a prefabricated school opened in Bothasig to accommodate unplaced pupils, but it is still not connected to water and power supplies, and residents are unhappy about conditions there.

Bothasig High School – on a Western Cape Education Department site in Olifant Street – opened in April for pupils from all over Cape Town who could not get placement at any other school.

About 250 Grade 8 and 9 pupils are accommodated in prefabricated buildings that are home to six classrooms, two laboratories and a staffroom.

Bothasig Residents’ Association chairman and school governing body member Derek Serra said five more classrooms had been added to the existing six classrooms, as the school expected the number of pupils to double next year.

At a community meeting on Wednesday October 26, Mr Serra said the school was still not connected to the electricity grid and the municipal water supply. It relied on a generator for power and it had portable toilets that were emptied once or twice a week.

Residents of what had been a quiet street in the community had been shocked to have the school thrust on them without any public consultation with the provincial education department, he said.

Residents at the meeting said the school had caused traffic congestion, and one woman complained that minibus taxis that dropped off and picked up pupils had no respect for other road users and parked in the middle of the road.

Mr Serra said the association had asked the school to address residents’ concerns about noise and fighting among pupils.

WCED spokeswoman Bronagh Hammond said the school was supplied with water from water tanks and water coolers and drew its power from a diesel generator. It was still being connected to municipal water and electricity supplies because of the rapid building process.

A contractor was working to connect the school to the water and electricity supplies, and should be done by Friday November 4, she said.

There were no immediate plans for a brick-and-mortar school at the site but one could be considered in the future, depending on competing demands and budgets, she said.

Teachers and pupils at Bothasig High School use these portable toilets.
The school relies on water tanks and a diesel generator because it has not yet been connected to water and electricity supplies.
Underground water pipes being installed at Bothasig High School.