Reply by Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, on questions posed in the National Council of Provinces for written reply
21 Oct 2010
Mr O de Beer (COPE-WC) to ask the Minister of Basic Education:
Whether, with reference to her reply to question 273 on 13 August 2010, she has
received a letter from a certain school (name and details furnished) that the
classrooms (a) need replacement and (b) are not (i) sufficient and (ii) in a safecondition for use; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (aa) why nothing has been done since the complaint, (bb) why her reply stated that her department has not been informed about the complaint and (cc) what will be done to rectify the situation?
No, I have not received a letter, referring to the said school.
(a) Not applicable
(b) Not applicable
(aa) Not applicable
(bb) Question 273, which I replied to on 13 August 2010, referred to a school in Saldanha Bay Municipality which was refused an occupancy certificate. In response to the question, I indicated that” The response received from Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is that the province has not been informed by the Department of Emergency Services of Saldanha Municipality that an occupation certificate was refused for any of its schools within the Saldanha Municipality area. The province will however, investigate the matter and rectify the situation, if there is indeed, such a case”. On further investigation, it was discovered that the school in question is Curro Private School in the Saldanha Bay Municipal area.
According to the Municipality, the refusal to issue the certificate was in terms of SABS 0400-1987: which state:
“T1 General requirement:
(1) Any building shall be so designed, constructed and equipped that in case of fire
(a) the protection of occupants or users therein is ensured and that provision is made for the safe evacuation of such occupants or users;
(2) The requirements of sub-regulation (1) shall be deemed to be satisfied where the design, construction and equipment of any building-
(a) is the subject of acceptable rational design proposals prepared by a professional engineer or other approved competent person, or
(b) complies with Part T of section 3 of SABA 0400: Provided that where any local authority is of the opinion that such compliance would not comply with all the requirements of regulation T1, such local authority shall, in writing, notify the owner to submit for approval a rational design as contemplated in paragraph (a).
Officials from the Municipality visited the private school, in March 2010, with regards to the Fire Safety aspect, in order to issue an occupancy certificate. The principal was requested to present the plans of the school, in order to check whether the fire equipment present correlate with the plan. The principal indicated that he didn't have the plan available, and would ask the directors to present the plan.
According to the municipality, as long as the plan is outstanding, the compliance certificate cannot be issued, hence the school will not be issued with an Occupancy Certificate. This unfortunately is a prerequisite of the SABS code, as well as the Fire Brigade Services Act.
Should the school be issued with any certificate relevant to safety without adherence to relevant legislation; it will imply that the municipality accept direct and indirect responsibility for any eventuality that may jeopardise/endanger the safety of all occupants, attendees, personnel etc.
(cc) It has, from the onset been, the schools’ responsibility to adhere to relevant legislation. The school has thus been requested to cooperate with officials from the municipality and to provide the requested documentation to ensure that the occupancy certificate is issued.
Source: Department of Basic Education
Issued by: Department of Basic Education
21 Oct 2010
[ Top ]