Growing J-Bay still without a high school

AT the start of the new school term last week, hundreds of Jeffreys Bay pupils were stranded without transport.
Although the problem was by no means confined to this area, the question is: Why is there no high school in Jeffreys Bay? Certainly not for want of trying.
For many years the town has had the dubious honour of being hailed as the fastest growing town in the country – yet it does not have a high school.
Bus loads of children are transported daily between the coastal town and Humansdorp.
From as far back as 2006 the local government has vigorously campaigned to have a school built here.
The previous mayor Robbie Dennis and his council went to great lengths to raise the town’s plight at government level. But politics has repeatedly been the spoke in the wheel.
The department of education owns a huge piece of ground in Waboom Crescent, Wavecrest, that was supposedly earmarked for the building of a high school. Politicians then decided the location was inappropriate as the need was for a school closer to town and the townships.
The powers that be in Bhisho decided to sell the land and ask the Kouga Municipality to donate another site. The money raised from the sale of the Waboom erf would then be used to fund the building of the school.
The municipality then dully donated a massive piece of ground on the outskirts of the Ocean View Township in C-Place, Jeffreys Bay. Matters progressed so far that it was even announced that a technical school complete with a hostel was to be built as far back as 2008.
And then everything practically ground to a halt as the politicians stepped in to try and score brownie points. As frequently happens when the glib guys become involved it’s all about them, and not the cause.
The blaming game subsequently started. The various departments blamed one another for the delays. The municipality was accused of not rezoning, and not transferring the ground. This was obviously vehemently denied.
Our Times was told the most horrific tales of politicians, both local and in province, demanding the greasing of palms before a sod would be turned.
It is now six years (since the announcement). In that time an entire group of children would have finished their high schooling.
Meanwhile more than half the number of pupils at Humansdorp high schools are from Jeffreys Bay. And all are entirely dependant on public transport to get there and back.
The waiting game continues as the politicians continue to bicker.
– Cindy Liebenberg

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