SA launches GIS-based education infrastructure plan

SA launches GIS-based education infrastructure plan

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South Africa: The Western Cape Education Department (WCED), South Africa, has announced a new GIS for Infrastructure Planning project. The project uses information of utilisation levels of schools depicted geographically as base information. In addition to this base information, it includes school-specific data such as learner enrolment levels and trends, the actual and required size of school facilities; whether schools operate from leased premises or are built with inappropriate materials.

The new GIS – which is available and operational for all our districts – has provided us with a better opportunity than before to interrogate and diagnose systematically school provisioning issues that may require investigative, planning and delivery attention in the Western Cape. It also provides us with a much more accurate picture of the “gap” between existing demand and existing supply.

After analysing the needs of each of our eight education districts, the Department has finalised a three-year plan for infrastructure that includes a shift in infrastructure spending in the direction of maintenance and the building of new schools.

The plan focuses on building new schools in areas of high and/or increasing pressure, an emphasis on maintenance, repairs and refurbishment, the replacement of schools originally built with inappropriate materials, the expansion of schools and the provision of additional mobile units and Grade R classrooms.

The WCED has allocated a budget of ZAR (South African rand) 771 million for 2013/14, ZAR 780 million for 2014/15 and ZAR 823 million for 2015/16 to give effect to this plan.

Source: South Africa