R1m for school repairs following holiday burglaries, vandalism - Western Cape MEC

2016-04-07 18:05
School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - It will cost the Western Cape education department an estimated R1m to repair infrastructure vandalised at schools across the province during the recent school holidays, Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said on Thursday.

Schäfer said in a statement that she was especially angered to hear that a special needs school had been targeted by armed thieves who stole 50m of fencing from the school.

Other reported incidents included theft of copper pipes, electrical cabling, computer equipment, an entire CCTV monitoring system as well as four CCTV cameras.

"What kind of people would steal from our most vulnerable members of society and place them in a more vulnerable situation by stealing the very fence that helps protect them from external elements?" she asked. 

"It is reported that the foreman and two security guards on site called the police, but unfortunately they did not arrive in time to take action. The cost to repair the fence is more than R600 000. It is simply not possible to sustain this kind of expenditure on repairing stolen fencing."

Additional security was supplied to high risk schools during the Easter school holidays, but despite this, 16 incidents of burglary and vandalism were reported.

"Damage to classrooms and school halls included theft of and damage to light fittings, broken windows and stolen sporting equipment. A feeding kitchen was yet again targeted, with food and cooking utensils being stolen," Schäfer said.

"In two separate incidents, perpetrators broke into a woodwork classroom, stealing more than R100 000 of power tools and equipment, perpetrators also targeted a store room, stealing power tools as well as gardening and maintenance equipment. This deals a blow to our skills development, which provides learners with life opportunities."

The department spent about R10m annually on emergency repairs resulting from major vandalism incidents, Schäfer confirmed.

Read more on:    cape town  |  education

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