Booted-out community groups find new homes


All the community organisations that were using the old DDT Jabavu school building in Motherwell NU5 appear to have found new premises since they were evicted by the education department at the end of January.
The move will be difficult for some, however, with the need to relocate certain projects, and renovate and secure their new work rooms.
ZC Masazi manager Wandisile Lukwe said on Monday his environmental education organisation, which falls under the Zwartkops Conservancy, had been offered premises at James Jolobe Secondary School in NU4 in Motherwell.
“It was identified for us by the education department and I went there today [Monday] and will go again tomorrow [Tuesday] to see exactly which classrooms we will be occupying,” he said.
“It seems there is lots of fixing needed, but we have definitely been offered the space.”
Lukwe said the move was not easy to accept, considering how much they had put into improving their old premises.
“It is very sad in that we spent R67,000 completely renovating two classrooms and a toilet at Jabavu with funds we sourced from Ford’s [Motor Company] US headquarters.
“Jabavu was central to many of us who worked and learnt there, and also to our projects.
“Besides fixing up the new space, we will need to secure it,” he said.
The activities of the Masazi Buddies had come to a standstill while they packed up their treasure trove of teaching equipment.
The eight organisations operating out of Jabavu had been allocated free rental space there by the education department because of their benefit to the community.
But the relationship soured in January when the groups protested that they had not received their promised eviction notice and had instead been summarily told to move out by February 4.
Two protests were staged and the organisations refused.
But by the end of last week the dust had started to settle.
Masonwabe Elderly Group assistant chair Nikiwe Nangu said Ward 59 councillor Mazwanga Dano had promised to organise a house that would accommodate its 33 members and their sewing machines.
Lathithaa Development Centre project manager Julia Ndwayana said it had been promised space, along with the 60 youngsters with learning difficulties enrolled at the centre, at the social development department’s Motherwell office in Addo Road.
George Lukwe, chief education specialist at the Nelson Mandela Bay education department, said the intention was to establish the Lenwabo Special School at Jabavu.
Lenwabo has been sharing premises with the Reuben Birin School for Hearing Impaired in Missionvale.
He denied that no notice had been given, saying the organisations had known about it since meetings in July.
He said it was not true that the department was focusing on Jabavu to instal Lenwabo above the many other abandoned and derelict schools simply because it had been renovated by the organisations, as they claimed...

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