School vandalism will harm future of children, SAPS national intelligence must investigate

27 Jul 2021 in Press Statements

Recent vandalism of schools in Gauteng have the very likely potential of harming the future of students, unfairly leaving them without much-needed resources for learning and teaching. The Democratic Alliance (DA) condemns the vandalism of 54 schools in Gauteng since the beginning of the year.

It is terribly concerning that schools continue to be a target for criminals and that both the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) and Community Safety have dismally failed to prevent such incidents of vandalism, theft, and burglaries, where the GDE continues to lose millions of rands repairing and replacing resources stolen and damaged during these incidents. 

Such money could be used to eradicate asbestos schools to protect the health of vulnerable children, and also fix deteriorating infrastructure across the province to ensure a conducive learning and teaching environment.

 The department’s school’s safety strategy is ineffective, and it is evident through the number of vandalism cases reported.

This is a clear indication that the South African Police Service (SAPS) is also failing to prioritise school safety with adequate police visibility. 

The DA has tabled questions to the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain what measures are being put in place to safeguard our schools and the number of cases, arrests and convictions that have been made so far.

We are calling on the SAPS intelligence unit to urgently investigate the syndicates that are involved in vandalism, theft, and burglary of our schools so that the perpetrators can be apprehended and there is a stop to this criminal element. 

Furthermore, DA proposals such as installation of fences or walls surrounding schools, installation of CCTV cameras and alarm systems in hotspot schools linked to the nearest police stations, night shift patrollers to safeguard schools, and the co-operation of community members would make a profound difference in preventing such incidents from happening again. 

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