South Africa: Gauteng Provincial Government Launches Ground Breaking School

press release

The Gauteng provincial government has today made history in the delivery of education, with the official opening of the province's first school built entirely from alternative construction technologies.

Premier Nomvula Mokonyane this morning opened Orefile Primary School in Olivenhoutbosch. The premier was joined by Infrastructure Development MEC Qedani Mahlangu and Education MEC Barbara Creecy for the launch.

The school is set to dramatically improve learning conditions in the area, especially for pupils currently enrolled at Philena Primary School, which is housed in a set of prefabricated structures. At least half of Philena Primary School's current learner complement of 1 192 is set to transfer to the brand new, state-of-the-art school at the beginning of the new school year in January 2013.

Orefile Primary School was built in a record 7 months using the Razorbill alternative construction method, instead of bricks and mortar. The entire project cost R33.4 million.

"This school is a product of a decision by the Executive Council to quicken the time of building schools and addressing the need for schooling infrastructure in the province. As you know, Gauteng experiences a huge rate of in-migration and to cope with pressures on infrastructure, we need alternative building methods that enable us to respond faster," Premier Mokonyane said.

Alternative construction methods hold great potential for the delivery of socio-economic infrastructure, in a province whose population continues to expand. Census 2011 results show that Gauteng's population has grown by 33 % since 1996, to 12.3 million. The province's schools registered 88 000 learners from outside the province at the beginning of this year.

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