THE long wait for Jeffreys Bay’s first government high school will soon be over as construction is due to start in September.
Kouga Municipality spokesman Laura Leigh Randall confirmed the Department of Education had set aside R150-million for the building of the school over the next three years at a recent briefing session with the municipality.
The aim is to open the school in June 2014.
Following the issuing of the record of decision (ROD) by the Department of Environmental Affairs in April, the Department of Education is now finalising arrangements for the construction of the school to go out on tender.
"The department is attending to the three conditions that must be addressed in terms of the ROD before construction can commence,” Randall said.
"The first condition is that a water-use licence must be obtained because there is a small wetland on the property. The wetland is not natural but man-made. Consequently, it should not take longer than six weeks to obtain the licence.”
The second condition stated in the ROD is that all indigenous vegetation must be removed and replanted.
However, Randall said the education department would like to replant the indigenous vegetation on the school property, but a final decision had not yet been made.
The third condition is a walk- through of the property so that small fauna, including tortoises, can be relocated.
"The department has already appointed an environmental specialist to attend to the conditions and no delays are expected.
"The municipality and department are further finalising the bulk infrastructure arrangements for the school,” she said.
The Jeffreys Bay High School will be a technical school aimed at accommodating at least 1000 pupils. There will be hostels, a hall and sports fields.
Plans for a high school for Jeffreys Bay, one of the fastest growing towns in the country, have been in the pipeline for more than six years.
Education Department spokesman Loyiso Pulumani confirmed that land had been secured "and all the background work has been done”.
Recent strikes by transport service providers left many Jeffreys Bay pupils stranded and unable to attend high schools in Humansdorp, the closest government schools.