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Sinkhole terror: High school on the brink of collapse in Gauteng, DA warns of more dropouts!



sinkhole in Relebogile Secondary School in Khutsong

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng worries that a sinkhole in Relebogile Secondary School in Khutsong could add to the increasing number of dropouts in the province. According to Khume Ramulifho, the party’s provincial education spokesperson, Gauteng’s dropouts are alarmingly high, with over 110,000 pupils dropping out of school in 2022. In addition, Ramulifho expressed concern that some of these pupils who are now at home may never return to school when learning resumes at this school.

Ramulifho further highlighted that 53,000 pupils who dropped out of school in 2022 are aged between 6 to 15 years old and cannot be employed anywhere, as child labour is illegal in South Africa. As a result, these children will have to loiter around the streets, which is unacceptable. Ramulifho called for more leadership from the department to address this issue urgently. He suggested that the Gauteng education department do something radical to save children from the unemployment, poverty and inequality that the country faces.

Ramulifho accused the Gauteng education department of not handling the matter urgently and challenged the department to apply the same approach when issuing PPE tenders to prevent pupils from losing contact with teaching. He also informed Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane about the incident on 9 February, who promised to find alternative space for the pupils. Ramulifho said that the MEC does not understand his portfolio and its responsibilities and is letting down the pupils in this area.

Also read: Boksburg informal settlement residents on edge as sinkhole continues to expand – fears of tragedy!

Ramulifho also suggested bringing geoscientists to establish the extent of the sinkhole and determine whether the school is safe. He called for temporary mobile classrooms and the school’s closure if declared unsafe. Ramulifho said that the sinkhole could impact pupils’ future and that an intervention from the South African Human Rights Commission is required to address the denial of the fundamental rights of children.


Gauteng education department spokesperson Steve Mabona confirmed the high number of dropouts but disagreed that the figure for last year was 110,000. He clarified that the number started from dropouts from Grade 1 until 12 and that the reasons for dropouts vary. Mabona explained that the department provides resources for pupils to be in classrooms, including food and transport, and that the department is finalising supplying water and ablution facilities to the containers erected outside the school.

Mabona also assured the public that there is a primary school where Relebogile Secondary School pupils were platooned from 12:00 until 16:00. He encouraged the community to refrain from disrupting schooling in the area and said that the department is implementing a recovery plan to assist pupils with catch-up.

Also read:

Gauteng Education System in Crisis: Over 100,000 Students Go Missing

Picture: Twitter / AndileKondile2

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