Holy Cross Primary School is one step closer to realising its dream of having a playground after the City agreed to fence the field, next to a freeway, where pupils play.
Sub-council 16 chairman Matthew Kempthorne says the City will fence off the site, between Searle and Nile streets, to make it safe for the pupils who have been using it as an informal play area.
“This is for their protection as they have been at risk when using the site, and the fencing will also help to secure the school premises as well.”
But the City-owned ground had to be levelled first at a cost of R140 000. The school could not immediately afford that so its benefactor, Delia Scott, loaned it the money to hire a building contractor, Yusuf Appleby, to do the job, which was finished last week.
Holy Cross has tried several times in the past to tie down the land opposite the school (“No room for play,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, April 21, 2016).
Currently, three teachers need to supervise the pupils at break time while they play on the unfenced field next to the N2.
Another problem is the site the school wants for a playground is subject to a District Six land claim, so the City would need permission from the Regional Land Claims Commission, as per the Land Restitution Act, before it could be leased (“‘Playground’ earmarked for D6 claimants,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, September 20,2018)
Mr Kempthorne said the City was still waiting for permission from the commission to let Holy Cross develop the land as a playground.
“The site remains City-owned and is still part of the District 6 land claim,” he said.
Principal Nomthandazo Zweni said she was glad the City would fence the land as it would make the school safer for her pupils and teachers.
“Teachers have been robbed in the open field… and we are hoping that a fenced area can take away fear felt by the school staff and pupils.”
Ms Zweni is grateful for the loan Ms Scott provided for levelling and terracing the surface and the Holy Cross would like to raise funds in reimbursing Ms Scott for the loan.
If anyone would like to assist Holy Cross they can call Ms Zweni on 079 895 3079.