Storm damage keeps 21 Western Cape schools closed on Wednesday - News | Western Cape Education Department

Storm damage keeps 21 Western Cape schools closed on Wednesday

27 September 2023

Statement by Minister David Maynier, Minister of Education Western Cape

Our latest updated information indicates that 249 schools in the Western Cape have been affected by the storms over the weekend.

39 schools were closed on Tuesday, and this was reduced to 21 schools on Wednesday, with the vast majority as a result of access roads to school being blocked.

This morning I visited Franschhoek High School, which has been closed since the weekend’s storms. There is currently no water or electricity supply to the school, and substantial flooding to the access roads, making it impossible for 650 learners to attend school.

While other schools are open, many have reported low attendance as learners struggle to reach schools in flood-damaged areas. Preliminary attendance figures indicate that 30.1% of our learners were not able to attend school on Tuesday, and 31.4% were not able to attend on Wednesday.

Our officials are working with schools to ensure that all can reopen as soon as possible, and we encourage parents to keep in contact with their school for updates regarding closures.

Our schools will implement catch-up plans to ensure that learners do not fall behind as a result of the school days lost this week. Schools close for the spring holidays this Friday, 29 September 2023, which will provide some breathing room for repairs and restoration of access.

Infrastructure damages were reported by 150 schools out of the 249, ranging from minor leaks to major roof damage, and we are working to assess these damages at present.

We have also sadly been informed of three learners passing away over the long weekend as a result of the storm. We offer our deepest condolences to their families, and have provided counselling support to their schools.

We thank the emergency services, our government and NGO partners, and our schools for the assistance they are rendering to our teachers, learners, and parents as we recover from this devastating storm.

Media Enquiries:
Kerry Mauchline
Spokesperson to Minister David Maynier
Western Cape Ministry of Education