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Friday Sep 06, 2013

Tshwane residents turn to protector over school noise

Frustrated residents in Amandasig, north of Tshwane, are writing to the public protector to have something done about the noise and traffic from Amandasig High School in Teak Street.

They say speeding, hooting, noisy announcements and blaring school bells have become out of hand since the school opened.

'I bought a house in Teak Street in 2009 after being assured by the council that the gate to the school was just for emergency access and would eventually be closed. Teachers used the road and drove down it at speed,' the resident, who asked to remain anonymous, wrote.

Residents also complained that the school bell rang twice at the beginning of a period and twice to signal the end.

'It is very, very loud and it disturbs the whole community.'
The principal is said to make dozens of announcements a day.

'The principal even leaves the bell on during public holidays and will not come and turn it off. The bell went off at midnight on Christmas day,' the resident added.

Residents claim they cannot sell their houses because the street has become unfavourable to live on.

'We have many retirees. It is a beautiful integrated suburb which, until the school started, was a pleasure to live in. We have exhausted all avenues of complaint and you are our last resort,' the resident wrote to the public protector.

FResidents put together a petition to have the gate on Teak Street closed, but claim nothing is being done. 'The learners now walk down the narrow street, all 1 000 of them, and meet about 30 taxis at the bottom. This is causing chaos,' she said.

The resident wrote that the noise from the taxis in the street caused additional problems.

The principal, it was claimed, allowed rowdy parties to take place on the school grounds.

The residents invited the public protector to visit the school to see the extent of the problem first hand.

The resident said they would consider taking legal action against the Department of Basic Education if the public protector could not help.

Residents also claim an environmental impact assessment was not done before the school was built.

Two informal settlements have also sprung to life in the area and residents claim the police have raided it for illegal substances.

Residents say many of the pupils do not live in Amandasig and take buses to school.

'The school was supposed to take overflow from high schools in the area,' the resident said.

She said the school was badly located and parents paid a fortune in taxi and bus fares for their children.

'Two months ago we were told that the school was being moved and the area where it is located would become a residential housing area. We are now told this is not the case,' she wrote.

The City of Tshwane said it was conducting a feasibility study to develop a residential area and hospice on the ground.

A traffic impact study and environmental impact analysis will also be conducted before the proposed developments take place.

A draft traffic impact study is complete and will address access and upgrade of roads.

The metro is also in the process of compiling a township establishment application.

'The township establishment process also requires the community to provide their input,' the city said.

The Department of Education, according to the metro, determined there was a need for an English school in the area.

Tshwane Health Services will assess the noise complaints and submit a recommendation to the school but the city did not specify when this would take place.

'The Metro Police Department has requested a meeting with roleplayers to discuss the traffic problems and road use in the area,' the metro said.

The Gauteng Department of Education said Teak Street would no longer be used as the only access point into the school.

'It was agreed that the temporary access on the R513 will again be used by public transport and parents who drop off learners.

'Teak Street will only be used by teachers and staff,' said Gershwin Chuenyane, the department's spokesman.

Pretoria News


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