The South African Federation of Trade Unions is deeply shocked at today’s tragic accident in which three children died at Höerskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark after a walkway between buildings collapsed. 23 other learners have been seriously injured and 21 hospitalised.
SAFTU sends its condolences to the families and friends of the deceased learners and best wishes to all the injured for a speedy and full recovery. We welcome the assurance by he Gauteng Education department that they will all receive full medical care regardless of whether the families have medical aid.
Everything possible must be done to find the cause of the structural collapse and check the safety of the whole school building. It must also investigate any possible negligence by construction companies and if so take action against those responsible.
The federation and community groups have been highlighting the appalling conditions in schools, including dilapidated and unsafe buildings and the continued existence of pit toilets.
This tragedy must be a wake-up call to the national and provincial government and school governing bodies to take immediate action to inspect every school to ensure that they are structurally sound and provide a safe and secure environment for learning.