A tornado which flung it’s power over Mthatha in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday, 17 November, is said to have damaged about 50 schools. The tornado ripped through an estimated 20 villages in the province.
Most of the schools hit were located in the OR Tambo District Municipality with 33 of the damaged schools being in Mthatha.
Education MEC, Fundile Gade, said:
This hailstorm is just another unfortunate setback to our plans as we are still battling with the huge infrastructural backlog in the province which sees many communities aacross our province calling for the building of their schools.
The Eastern Cape Education Department’s Mali Mtima told EWN that school buildings and classrooms were destroyed or damaged and that they were discussing alternative venues for learners with the municipality.
This destruction comes in the midst of Matriculants 2020 final examination session.
All learners must write, even if it means they must write in a church hall. We are getting churches and others to work with us.
– Mali Mtima
The Department has said that millions will need to go into rebuilding the damaged infrastructures.
As for how this affects learners, Gade said that they were not affected psychologically but rather emotionally and that, “some have had to acclimatise themselves in the context of being grouped differently due to the lack of classrooms.”
I could get a sense that there is no examinations anxiety, they treat this as normal.
– Fundile Gade
The South African Weather Service rated the storm as an EF2 to EF3 tornado. As a result of the tornado, six people have died with around 49 residents being injured.
Schools weren’t the only building to see damage being done to them with other vital structures in the area such as homes, clinics as well as the airport being affected.
Members of Recedevernment have bee trying to restore services in the area as well as help those who were affected by the tornado. Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, was in Mthatha to visit the families affected by the tornado in the week.
Gift of the Givers is said to have also stepped in to rescue the area and have started stocking food parcels, hygiene packs, soap and noodles.
@Mthatha, Eastern CapeSee how hundreds of homes are destroyed by a Tropical Cyclone/Tornado 2days ago.The government of South Africa and Eastern Cape region have to do something about this. That’s what the government is for.Same day Cape Town experienced an Earthquake pic.twitter.com/IqNai8F3rF
— Hope Emmax Mtawali (@HopeEmmax) November 18, 2020
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé