Copper theft at another PMB school

2013-11-26 00:00

COPPER thieves have targeted yet another school in Pietermaritzburg.

Settlers’ Park Pre-Primary School became the fourth school recently to be hit by copper thieves in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Principal Mary Gray said they have had three break-ins this year alone and had also been targeted last year by thieves who stole copper pipes and all the water taps that were in the wash bay area.

“On Sunday morning, our alarm went off at 2.45 am when they were trying to break into our storeroom. They must have been hiding somewhere because the alarm went off again at 5 am and they only took copper taps,” she said.

The school had to replace the stolen taps with plastic ones.

Gray said the school had no water for 90 minutes yesterday because they had to sort out the mess left by the thieves.

“Last year when we were confronted by this challenge we had to ask parents to take their children home, so that we could fix the toilet block which had been affected,” she said.

She said in August the school, with parents’ help, even cleared the bush area belonging to Msunduzi Municipality opposite the school because there were vagrants who sometimes lived there.

“Because of this rampant theft we clearly need more police visibility,” she said.

Gray said she had reported the incident at the Townhill police station.

Last month, The Witness reported that three Pietermaritzburg schools were recent targets of copper thieves.

Longmarket Girls’ School, Greenhill Primary School in Northdale and Alston Primary School in Greyling Street have all been victims of copper thieves.

At the time, KwaZulu-Natal Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said they were helpless because this was a general occurrence in the province.

Provincial police were unable to confirm the Settlers’ Park case yesterday.

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