Eight districts in Gauteng are still waiting to receive personal protective equipment (PPE) as schools prepare to reopen on Monday.
According to the Gauteng Department of Education’s state of readiness report delivered on Friday, all PPE for public schools were picked up from warehouses and were on their way to schools.
The department said PPE deliveries were concluded in seven districts on Thursday and covered schools in the City of Ekurhuleni, City of Tshwane and City of Johannesburg.
Deliveries for the eight remaining districts were dispatched on Thursday and were expected to cover the remaining schools in the City of Johannesburg’s Cosmo City, Alexandra, Midrand, Orange Farm and Lenasia, as well as the Sedibeng District and West Rand municipalities.
PPEs for pupils include antiseptic bar soap and masks. Each school is also expected to receive a 2-litre hand sanitiser, six temperature scanners, germ-killing soap, paper towels and wipes for the cleaning of surfaces.
The department said 75 SMMEs were contracted to make the deliveries to 2071 schools.
It added that four companies, one per region, were contracted to provide water to schools and that water supply deliveries would be made 24 hours before 1 June.
“Schools have been authorised to order water if tanks fall below 50%, or as needed.”
Service and distribution giant Bidvest had stepped in to clean schools which do not have the capacity to do so. At least 577 schools were expected to be cleaned by the company. As of Thursday, 371 of the schools were completed, the department said.
It expects the remaining schools to be cleaned by Saturday, two days before the reopening.
“There are 38 schools where [the] Bidvest team was disrupted by communities – the plan is to clean these schools on Sunday, 31 May 2020,” the department said.
Pupils in grades 7 and 12 are expected to be phased in from Monday.
They are expected to be orientated on Monday and Tuesday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Thursday, after visiting three schools in the province.
The minister said she was confident that schools were working towards meeting the non-negotiables in order to reopen. She added that she was aware that some schools in other provinces had experienced delays in PPE deliveries.
She also said some schools might not be able to reopen on 1 June and added that she expected delays to last no longer than a week.