Reconstruction yet to start after #DrBlokFire

PHOTO: Blaine Jones

Despite indications by the Free State Education Department in January 2019 that it will take six months and not six weeks to rebuild Bloemfontein’s Dr Blok Secondary School’s hostels, the process only started in 2020.

OFM News reports that this follows an incident on 11 January 2019 where 135 learners were rescued from the hostel after the hostel building caught fire.

According to an anonymous source, the rebuilding process was then again delayed due to the COVID-19 restrictions and resumed in February 2021.

When OFM News visited the school on Thursday, it was discovered that there is no construction happening on site and not much visible progress being made. OFM News submitted questions to the department and the appointed contractors, and is awaiting a response.

The school’s hostel caught fire after the blaze allegedly started at the hostel parents’ house and spread to the hostel. Nine learners were taken to the Pelonomi Hospital for smoke inhalation. Although there were no fatalities, the incident raised questions about learners’ safety and the state of schools’ infrastructure. Learners have been temporarily housed at one of the school’s vacant buildings until the finalisation of the hostel.

OFM News/Blaine Jones