Schools prep for Day Zero

Helen Zille addresses the media.

Principals from across the city met with Premier Helen Zille in Kuils River, last week to discuss plans to keep schools afloat come Day Zero.

Michael Mpofu, Ms Zille’s spokesman, said the meeting with the 1 000 principals discussed hygiene and fire safety at the schools as well as how they would source drinking water.

He said that when Day Zero — currently scheduled for sometime in mid-May — arrived schools would have to make do with borehole water, recycled water, sea water and limited municipal water.

“Where water is not potable, drinking water will be delivered to the schools,” he said.

Erna Joubert, principal of President High School in Goodwood, did not go into detail about the school’s plans come Day Zero but said they were saving water and that she would be meeting with principals from surrounding schools to discuss additional Day Zero plans.

She said sport was continuing at the school for now, but cricket had been cancelled for the term by the Western Province Cricket Association.

The school, which has 650 pupils, does not have a borehole.

Koos Sadie Primary School principal, Estelle Rossouw, said they had ordered two JoJo tanks and were waiting for them to be delivered.

Pupils have been asked to take their own drinking water to school.

“We asked pupils to bring 5-litre sealed bottles of water, which we store in a safe place.We have had a very good response from parents and pupils.

“Pupils also have to bring grey water in 2-litre containers, which is emptied into a big container and used for the flushing of the toilets,” she said.

The school has 942 pupils and sport, apart from cricket, is continuing.

Ms Rossouw said the prefects checked the bathrooms at break to make sure no water was wasted and parents had been sent a newsletter outlining the school’s water-saving measures.

Goodwood Park Primary and JG Meiring High principals were also sent detailed questions about their Day Zero plans but were not able to comment before this edition went to print.