Sewerage pipes keep doors closed at R82m Tembisa school

Sewerage pipes keep doors closed at R82m Tembisa school

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it is looking into the structural defects at the Mayibuye Primary School in Tembisa after claims the school was built on unstable ground. 

Mayibuye primary school in Tembisa

Recent media reports exposed major flaws in the R82 million project. 

The state-of-the-art school was set to open its doors in 2019 but remains closed due to concerns over safety. 

The commission conducted an oversight visit at the school on Wednesday. 

Gauteng provincial manager Buang Jones says the reports are misleading.  

“We observed that there is no credence to allegations that this school is built on a wetland but rather it is frequently wet due to persistently leaking sewer lines. 

“The school is built adjacent to a sewer line which has been leaking for quite some time now.” 


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A meeting has been called for next week to discuss the matter. 

“We can’t say it is a minor issue. There may be defects. There has to be a technical inspection by experts to independently verify the impact of the ongoing spillage which runs onto the school premises and we hope that all the report we will be receiving from the Department will also reflect on this,” Jones says.

“The commission has decided to convene an urgent meeting with all the role players. This includes the provincial Treasury, the Department of Education, the Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management and the City of Johannesburg on Tuesday next week.”  

Jones says the commission will also investigate if the R82 million bill was warranted.  

“This is a state-of-the-art school. The estimated costs are R82 million, the Department of Infrastructure and Property Management has indicated that in order to complete the entire project and to attend to some of the latent defects, they would need approximately R32 million. 

“We are concerned obviously with the spiraling costs and part of our mandate is to check the reasonableness of government’s actions and to monitor the spending patterns of governments.”

At least another four months would be needed to fix up the school before it can welcome pupils onto the premises.  

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