‘Unpaid’ SMMEs bar parents from registering pupils at Soweto school

Disgruntled small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) blocked parents from registering their children at Braamfischerville Primary School in Soweto on Tuesday over lack of payment for the construction happening at the facility.

When Sowetan arrived earlier in the day, the group of about 13 companies complained that they had not been paid since October last year.

They were contracted to build the structures, instal the ceiling, tiling and do plastering, among other things.

There was thick, black smoke outside the school entrance as angry SMME owners, joined by community members, burnt tyres.

Parents said even though they were disappointed that they could not register their children, they were excited that something was done for their children’s safety as the containers they had been learning in were not conducive to do so.

Walking around the school, most containers did not have doors.

Dumisani Sesenye, 34, said: “I just wish that the school can extend our registration days. We don’t know what will happen on Wednesday when schools reopen.”

Speaking on behalf of the companies, Teboho Mokoena asked that none of them be named as they feared losing business with the government.

He said the school was supposed to be built in 2018.

“The budget to build this school was R96m and it was adjusted to R115m, but now we are told there is no money yet the building of the school has not been completed.

“There is a fight between the department of infrastructure and the main contractor who claims that he has been paying people from his own pockets. So today we have decided to close the gates as this is the language they understand,” Mokoena said.





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