Numerous allegations were made in Ann Crotty’s article about the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) delaying the completion of the Vukile Tshwete Senior Secondary School construction project (Meet the Eastern Cape schools the province desperately tries to forget, January 16).
The allegations are not founded, and CDC wishes to set the record straight. The Vukile Tshwete Senior Secondary School project is divided into two phases. The first includes the fencing of the school and identification of a new site, which have been completed. The second phase includes the submission of the planning, project scope, cost and quality of infrastructure, which have been submitted to the department.
The department’s officials participated in the planning stage to ensure the project scope, cost and quality of infrastructure deliverables align with the gazetted norms and standards as well as the department’s strategic priorities.
Approval has been received from the department. Therefore the construction of the school will commence soon.
The CDC has provided implementation plans with milestones and time frames to both the department and the school management, and established a project steering committee consisting of the Eastern Cape education department, members of the school governing body and school principal to support the CDC and project team with the construction stage implementation, starting in 2018.
The CDC has successfully fast-tracked the implementation of many delayed school building projects on behalf of the department as per the available budget.
As a result, the CDC has remained one of the top-performing implementing agents in the country and in the Eastern Cape in particular. For example, out of many school building projects that are contracted to the department in the infrastructure development programme, the CDC has successfully completed well more than 585 projects, valued at R1.8bn, since 2008. The organisation has assisted the department in improving the quality of life of the citizens.
In the 2016-17 financial year, the CDC
was allocated 108 temporary classroom projects.
Of these, 75 were completed successfully and the remainder were transferred to 2018 solely due to budget constraints from the
department. All stakeholders were made
aware of this. The CDC cannot implement any project until the education department confirms the budget.
Dr Ayanda Vilakazi