GDE wants more firms to help with school infrastructure after Goza water success

After six years of being left in the lurch, over 1,400 children at Goza Primary School in Soweto finally have access to clean drinkable water without any disruptions, thanks to a donation from private company, the AECI Group.

A donation from the AECI Group has made it possible for Goza Primary School in Freedom Park to have running water after six years of struggling to get it from the Gauteng Department of Education. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Education Department conceded that government had "struggled" for years to provide Goza Primary School in Soweto with reliable water and it was now urging private companies to help more public schools with basic infrastructure.

After six years of being left in the lurch, over 1,400 children at the Freedom Park school finally have access to clean drinkable water without any disruptions, thanks to a donation from private company, the AECI Group.

The firm has paid for a borehole, a filtration plant and flow taps to the tune of R500,000.

Two months ago, Eyewitness News exposed the desperate plight of pupils who had to relieve themselves in the bushes when limited water tanks dried up.

Vuyani Mpofu is the deputy Director-General at the Gauteng Education Department. He said that government could only do so much and it needed the private sector to step in and fund infrastructure at more schools.

Mpofu said the department was not embarrassed that it took six years and a private company stepping in to provide this basic service to pupils.

"Education is a societal issue and therefore business and other stakeholders have got a responsibility to ensure that they assist the government in ensuring that facilities, resources in our schools are implemented," Mpofu said.

The company that sponsored the project is called the AECI Group. Candice Watson from the firm said they wanted to support more schools with proper water solutions.

“Organisations like AECI, that's been around for many years, has demonstrated competencies to come on board to support them in building sustainable, not only community partnerships but also business partnerships,” she said.

The department said the donation had come at the right time, with COVID-19 protocol requiring children to clean their hands regularly.

WATCH: After 6-year struggle for water, Soweto school finally gets help

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