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Crèche upgrade ‘superficial’

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Almost R200 000 was allocated to upgrade the crèche in Galeshewe, but it has only been painted and a few superficial cracks have been repaired.

SUPERFICIAL FIX: Cracks in the building and floors of the Boitumelo Crèche in Adam Namakola Street. The Department of Social Development had apparently allocated between R100 000 to R180 000 for renovations.

THE BOITUMELO and Let It Shine crèche in Galeshewe is still in no better condition following an upgrade to the facility, with only one functional toilet and the building is extremely “cracked” all over.

The chairperson of the Progressive Forum, Clive Tswaile, said the Department of Social Development had allocated between
R100 000 to R180 000 for the renovations, while the contractors only painted and repaired a few cracks in the walls.

“The department instructed that the two crèches amalgamate as the Let It Shine crèche was operating in the backyard of a house. The funds were allocated to spruce up the place after the two early childhood development centres were merged to accommodate 22 children,” said Tswaile.

He added that while the service provider was supposed to repair the toilets, the bathrooms only received “a lick of paint”.

“There is only one toilet that can flush, which is creating a hygiene risk. The contractors built a partition to separate the girls from the boys toilets. However, the boys and girls all have to share the one functional toilet in the boys’ section. The walls of the toilet that is used by personnel is also cracked.”

Bricks have been placed on the lids of the rest of the toilets that are all out of order, while the tiles on the bathroom floor are loose.

Tswaile stated that all the light bulbs had been removed from the light fittings in the ceiling.

“The only lights that can be switched on are the fluorescent lights in the classrooms. Some of the light switches were not installed properly.

“The geyser is leaking and causing the roof to collapse, as the roof was never sealed, while the windows cannot close and many are broken. The building has shifted away from the foundation,” he added.

There are large cracks running down the floors and the rest of the building, while there are often sewage leaks.

Tswaile said that no quality control or checks had been done by the department to ensure that the work was of the required standard.

“The contractors never reported to anyone or gave any indication whether they would return to complete the work. The centre has never been provided with a breakdown of the costs incurred. I am not convinced that a dash of paintwork and the superficial repair of some cracks can ever amount to the full allocated sum (R100 000 to R180 000). There has been absolutely no accountability on this project or transparency regarding how the funds were spent.”

Tswaile added that there was confusion as two different committees existed for the two crèches following the amalgamation. “You cannot have two committees steering one early childhood development centre.”

The Department of Social Development indicated that it would provide a response to media enquiries today.