The Accelerated School infrastructure Programme (ASIDI) was run by The Mvula Trust in three regions namely Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and Limpopo on behalf of the Department of Basic Education.
In this Project Report we are going to look at The Mvula Trust Limpopo region which has its offices in Polokwane. The region manages activities for the Rural Household Infrastructure Programme (RHIP) on behalf of the Department of Human Settlements; the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) on behalf of the Department of Basic Education; The Department of Water Affairs, as well as the Limpopo Department of Education.
This programme seeks to eradicate the school infrastructure backlog, and this is achieved through accelerating the provision of infrastructure to schools, prioritizing those schools where there is no infrastructure at all. The focus on The Mvula Trust implemented projects was to provide Water and Sanitation infrastructure.
Participants in this programme included, apart from The Department of Basic Education, PD Naidoo and Associates (co-coordinator); 17 contractors; 7 Project managers; 1 Geohydrologist; 2 OHS consultants; The School Management Team, as well as the Governing Bodies of 115 schools.
Out of the 77 schools considered, 64 schools were provided with water supply and 37 schools benefited from sanitation facilities. Also, 661 men and women benefited from temporary work opportunities during construction.
Site locations were as follows: Capricorn district municipality: 20 schools; Mopani District Municipality: 23 schools; Sekhukhune District Municipality: 46 schools; Vhembe District Municipality: 23 schools; and Waterberg District Municipality: 3 Schools.
Site activities included site establishment; borehole siting; drilling, pump testing and equipping of boreholes; excavations, pipe and electrical cable laying and backfilling of trenches; installation of tanks stand and tank; electrical connections; excavating foundations for toilet blocks; foundation works; masonry work and roofing and installation of fittings; demolitions of old dilapidated structures; Health and hygiene education and user education.
Stakeholder engagements were prominent and involved engagement with school governing bodies (SGB), co-coordinator representatives and client representatives on site, as well as during progress review meetings. While this programme involved no major interventions, it saw a risk of accidents on a school environment, as well as the challenge of few slow contractors.
The programme was a success, and a number of lessons were learned. Lack of water affects enrolment in schools, as parents shun schools without adequate facilities. Schools are not well equipped with capacity and resources to effectively operate and maintain physical infrastructure. It was also learned that the provision of school infrastructure creates jobs throughout the entire value chain for equipment and materials used for construction.