Sinenjongo High a ‘beacon of hope’

Principal Khuselwa Nopote accepts an aerial picture of the school from Elias Steenkamp from Build A Way Construction.

Soon being taught in container classrooms will be a distant memory for pupils of Sinenjongo High School as their new R47 million school reached completion last week.

The keys to the state-of-the-art school were handed over to the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) last Friday at the school in Joe Slovo, Milnerton. Tabletalk last reported on the new school when Education MEC Debbie Schafer and Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant were invited on a walkabout at the school (“Jobs created as high school building goes up,” Tabletalk, June 15).

Now, three months later, the school is painted and paved. It boasts a luscious green lawn on its sports field and its ready to accommodate 1 250 pupils.

There are 35 standard classrooms, four science laboratories, two multi-purpose classrooms, a media centre and a computer laboratory. The complex also has a hall with toilet facilities, an administrative building and caretakers’ facilities.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, in the school hall, WCED programme manager Ismail Jakoet said the school had come from “humble beginnings” on community trust land.

“The facility is a beacon of hope and a secure safe haven for pupils and staff. We trust Sinenjongo High School will go from strength to strength,” said Mr Jakoet.

Principal Khuselwa Nopote said she was humbled to be a part of building the new school. She thanked Maggie Rowley, from Rabie Properties, for the company’s support and said it was a pity Mr Grant was not present.

“His was the first door we knocked on when we wanted a proper structure,” she said.

She thanked the community saying they had worked together to allow the school to be built. “This is a beautiful school, but we also have our work cut out for us. We have done well in a prefab building. Now there is nothing that can stop us from reaching for the stars,” she said.

Ms Rowley said the new school was “a real game changer for Sinenjongo”.

“When one considers what they have achieved to date with extremely rudimentary facilities and resources, one can only imagine what they can achieve going forward in their beautiful new school with its state-of-the-art facilities.”

She said the school had become “a beacon of hope” in Joe Slovo.

“We feel extremely privileged to share this journey with them,” said Ms Rowley.

Grade 11 pupil Zanele Sonamzi said she looked forward to doing her matric year at the new school.

“I can’t wait to move in. The prefab buildings were okay, but there were disadvantages like the extreme weather conditions. Hot weather was exceptionally bad in the classrooms because it made it difficult to concentrate.”

Staff and pupils will move in when the school opens for the 2017 academic year.