Chapter 8



8.1.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • The South African Schools Act 84 of 1996 [SASA]
  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 [EEA]



  • National Norms and Standards for School Funding, Government Gazette Vol. 400, No. 19347, 12 October 1998 [NR NSSF]
  • Amended National Norms and Standards for School Funding (Government Gazette 394 in GN 40818 of 28 April 2017) [NR 40818/2017]



  • Personnel Administrative Measures [PAM]


8.1.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Maintenance

  1. Responsibility for Maintenance
    • The State
      The State must fund public schools from public revenue on an equitable basis in order to ensure the proper exercise of the rights of learners to education and the redress of past inequalities in education provision on an annual basis.  Further the State must provide sufficient information to public schools regarding the funding to enable public schools to prepare their budgets for the next financial year.
    • The School Governing Body (SGB)
      The SGB of self-managing schools (i.e. schools with Section 21 rights), in collaboration with the principal, must maintain and improve the school’s property, buildings, grounds, and hostel. The SGB should create a sub-committee to take the responsibility for maintaining the buildings and grounds. The chairperson of this sub-committee must be a member of the SGB and a knowledgeable person on the processes of calling for tenders, as well as quality assurance of materials and workmanship.
    • The Principal
      It is the responsibility of the principal to manage the facilities in such a way that they become and remain an environment conducive for learning. She/He must make regular inspections of the school to ensure that the school premises and equipment are being used properly and that good discipline is being maintained.  She/He is also responsible for the hostel and all related activities including the staff and learners, if one is attached to the school.
      The principal must appoint a staff member to take responsibility for maintaining the school buildings and grounds.  She/He should also be a member of the relevant sub-committee and report on a regular basis to the principal on maintenance matters. The SGB member reports to the SGB.
  2. Types of Maintenance
    The major types of maintenance fall into four categories:

    • Preventative maintenance
      Preventative maintenance is the programme for servicing machines, systems and structures that is devised to prevent a breakdown of the total system or any one of its components. The purpose of preventative maintenance schedules is to maximise the useful life of a piece of equipment, a structure or an operating system and, therefore, preclude or at least delay a breakdown. A good preventative maintenance system should have effects such as:

      • producing a complete and accurate inventory of building components and equipment;
      • reducing the frequency and number of emergency repair responses;
      • providing cost collection and analysis tools to assist in budget preparation;
      • increasing the effectiveness of facility maintenance; and
      • implementing a flexible and easily operated system.
    • Periodic maintenance
      Periodic maintenance is scheduled on a recurring or contractual basis for equipment and facilities at predetermined times.  Periodic maintenance schedules are set up to be accomplished on specific days or at specific times.  Performance of periodic maintenance is often associated with equipment in school offices or in teaching areas such as computer labs.
    • Recurring maintenance
      Recurring or day-to-day maintenance is more related to the daily operation of facilities and use of equipment.  Where the need to have repairs made in a short period of time is important, a recurring maintenance plan is needed.
    • Emergency maintenance
      Emergency maintenance means the immediate fixing or repairing of equipment that has ceased to function.  The basic differences between recurring and emergency maintenance are the time frames in which they occur and the cost factors.
  3. The Maintenance Programme
    The maintenance programme of the school is often a neglected item on the school’s budget.  The SGB, in collaboration with the principal, should draw up an annual maintenance programme which should also reflect in the school’s budget.
    While acknowledging that every school is unique with reference to the state of their facilities, the table below can be used as a template for an annual maintenance programme:


Maintenance aspects Frequency Remarks
Daily Weekly Monthly Annually
Doors and locks
Electrical installations
Equipment (duplicators, computers)
Fencing and gates
Fire (emergency) drill plans
Fire-fighting equipment
Floor surfaces
Gardening equipment
Gas installations
Kitchen areas
Pedestrian areas
Playing fields
Roofs, gutters and downpipes
Security aspects
Sewerage disposal
Sporting equipment
Storm and rainwater drainage
Toilets and plumbing
Wall surfaces
Water meter readings



Login with your email address and password or register online