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City school open after sewage overflow

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“Our team from sanitation met with the Department of Education and committed to continuously monitor the sewer blockage on a regular basis,”

Raw sewage overflow forced the closure of Pesocdia High School. This is not the first time that the school has been closed as a result of the sewage problem. Picture: Danie van der Lith/ANA

CLASSES will continue at Pescodia High School this morning despite fears over the weekend that pools of raw sewage would again force the school’s governing body (SGB) to lock the gates.

Lessons resumed at the school last Thursday after an overflow of sewage, stemming from a blocked pipe in Sedert Street, had seen the SGB send pupils and staff home, fearing a potential health risk, earlier last week.

A spokesperson for the Sol Plaatje Municipality, Thoko Riet, apologised to the community on Thursday and said that the matter had been resolved.

“Our team from sanitation met with the Department of Education and committed to continuously monitor the sewer blockage on a regular basis,” she said.

“There is a continuous blockage in Sedert Street, which has been an underlying issue for a long time. However, the sanitation team will continue to pump until the pipes are clear.

“The area has now been pumped and was a little dry.

“We take this opportunity as a municipality to apologise to the affected community for the inconvenience and our team will regularly monitor the situation before the blockage spirals out of control.”

However, by Sunday morning, the spokesperson for the SGB, Alice Badenhorst, said that the problem had returned and would need to be addressed before school could commence following the long weekend.

Yesterday, Riet reiterated that the matter had been resolved, adding that no complaints had been received.

Meanwhile, Badenhorst confirmed that the area had been pumped and that classes would commence this morning.

Following the school closure by the SGB last week, the spokesperson for the provincial Department of Education, Lehuma Ntuane, said that the department had raised concerns over this issue with the municipality on a number of previous occasions.

He pointed out that while the problem was proving detrimental to education, it required a solution from local government as it related to the repairs and maintenance of infrastructure in the area.

“We had a similar issue in 2015. However, the problem is not at the school but is being caused by blocked pipes in the vicinity.”