Staff at Hazendal Educare Centre have accused the City of Cape Town of dragging its heels and sending them from pillar to post after they tried to get it to repair the centre’s roof, which was damaged by strong wind.
On Friday June 15, a strong wind ripped through the centre, causing parts of the roof to blow off and a tree to fall on the electrical substation on the premises.
A major electrical cable also snapped, leaving parts of the area without power for a few hours.
The City owns the building housing the educare centre, and on the morning of the incident, the principal, Verona Khuzwayo, reported the matter.
However, by Wednesday June 20, Ms Khuzwayo had become despondent because one City departmentreferredherto another, and no repairs were forthcoming.
She had made several telephone calls and had sent emails to officials, but by Thursday June 21, no repair team had come to the centre.
Area central mayoral committee member, Siyabulela Mamkeli, confirmed to Athlone News that the social development and early childhood development department was responsible for major maintenance at the centre.
Ms Khuzwayo said part of the problem was that the building was old and not being maintained by the City.
“The maintenance co-ordinator was here to check on the damages, but since he has been here on Friday afternoon, nothing has been done,” she said.
Ms Khuzwayo was worried that since the kitchen roof had a big hole in it, opportunistic thieves might use it to gain entry to the premises.
“We did not sleep the whole weekend. It was stressful. Then it started to rain, and the kitchen ceiling started to sag. It was leaking there also,” she added.
The centre has 90 children between the ages of 22 months and 6 years, and in the afternoon it has an aftercare facility for older children.
Mr Mamkeli confirmed that the City owns the building, and that the centre is on a month-to-month lease. He added that the notification for repairs was submitted, but it needed to be approved.
“The contractor has subsequently been to the site to start the repairs. The City will be responsible for any insurance-related issues in respect of the building. Should the educare facility have suffered losses or damage to equipment, for example, as a result of the storm, then this would be a separate claim that the principal or owner would have to submit to the City’s insurance department,” Mr Mamkeli said.
Ms Khuzwayo said the repairs had started on Friday June 22 – this after the Athlone News enquired about the situation.