When we were appointed to work on Kuyasa Primary School in Khayelitsha, the existing school consisted of twelve mobile classrooms, four mobile toilets and five prefabricated CAVCON classroom buildings. The CAVCON buildings, which the brief stated had to be retained, were part of a previously designed master plan. On investigation, the proposed entry for the school on the master plan did not work in relation to the local authority town planning layout for the Kuyasa surrounds. The entry point was proposed through an erf which was zoned for religious buildings. A new master plan for the site was therefore required, which would incorporate the CAVCON buildings with the new buildings.

The local authority town planning department required that vehicular access be off Nqawu Street. The school entrance was therefore by default off Nqawu Street. Due to the distance from the new school entrance to one of the existing CAVCON buildings, the provision of a single enclosed school compound was not possible to achieve. This issue was addressed by dividing the school into separate enclosed areas, creating a second line of control beyond the perimeter fence. All these areas are linked by covered walkways.

The existing school needed to remain operational during construction. This required a phased construction sequence with the mobile classrooms and mobile toilets eventually being removed from the site.

A strong determining design factor was the south-east wind that batters the site. The new buildings were arranged as L-shaped blocks around the existing CAVCON buildings, in order to form wind-sheltered courts.

The new Administration Block is located at the main entrance off Nqawu Street, and includes the forum, media centre and computer room. The forum has been positioned to act as the ‘head’ of the group of buildings on the site. The forum can also be accessed from the parking area to minimise disruption to the remainder of the school when used after school hours by the surrounding community. The community can also access the computer room and media centre from the forum, without needing to access the remainder of the school.

The other two new blocks are the Senior Classroom Block and the Intermediate Classroom Block with a PT surface situated in each respective court. A Play Court was located between the Senior and Intermediate Classroom Blocks and the existing CAVCON buildings, to act as a connecting court. It includes a sundial tower and a drinking fountain.

The proposed future Junior Soccer Field was positioned on the south-west lower corner to create a green belt along Oscar Mpheta Road.

There was no budget to improve the CAVCON buildings except to paint them in the same colours as the new buildings. The base colours for the buildings are neutral colours, to blend with the surrounding sand. The colours of the local fynbos and yellow spring flowers were used as the highlight colours. These are also the school uniform colours.

In time, the planting of indigenous fynbos in the courtyards will be a welcome further addition to the complex.


Department of Transport and Public Works – Education

User Client

Western Cape Education Department

Completion Date

June 2008

Quantity Surveyors

E M Hepburn Quantity Surveyor

Structural Engineers

Manong & Associates (Pty) Ltd

Civil Engineers

Manong & Associates (Pty) Ltd

Electrical Engineers

Element Consulting Engineers

Land Surveyors

Biff Lewis Geomatics

Occupational Health & Safety

Milestone Management CC


HAS Trading assisted by Tusk