By Kaya 959 Reporter
At least 1 231 cases of vandalism, theft and burglaries have been reported at schools across Gauteng.
“This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
According to MEC Mazibuko, the schools in Gauteng have opened 1 231 cases of vandalism, theft, and burglaries. Of these cases reported, 300 suspects were arrested in 147 cases and only 34 cases resulted in the conviction of 37 accused persons,” the DA’s Khume Ramulifho said in a statement.
Ramulifho added that school children are left without critical resources at schools, reporting a loss of over R2 million since 2020 to date.
He said it was concerning that the Gauteng Department of Education continues to lose millions in theft, burglaries, and vandalism of schools while not much is being done to safeguard assets.
“GDE and the Department of Community Safety have dismally failed to prevent such incidents of vandalism, theft, and burglaries in our schools.
“It is very worrying that there are low arrest and conviction rates despite the high number of cases reported. This means that no arrests were made in 1 084 cases and 1 197 cases did not make it to the court row,” he said.
Ramulifho said this revealed gaps in the department’s school’s safety strategy.
Permanent security guards needed
Ramulifho added that police should also work together with schools to ensure safety and increase visibility.
He said the R2 225 611 lost by the department could have been used to eradicate asbestos schools and fix deteriorating infrastructure across the province.
“Untrained and unarmed school safety patrollers alone will not be able to safeguard our valuable school’s assets.
“There is a need for community members to take ownership of the schools and for the department to explore the feasibility of employing permanent security guards to safeguard schools, particularly in areas that have a high crime rate,” Ramulifho said.
The party has proposed heightened security features at schools such as the installation of fences or walls surrounding schools, CCTV cameras and alarm systems in hotspot schools linked to the nearest police stations.