38 Western Cape schools burgled, vandalised over the holidays

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38 schools in the Western Cape were burgled and vandalised during school holidays.
38 schools in the Western Cape were burgled and vandalised during school holidays.
  • Thirty-eight schools in the Western Cape lost valuable equipment during burglaries and incidents of vandalism over the school holidays.
  • Sport equipment, computers, stationery, kitchen equipment and food supplies for pupils were some of the items that were stolen.
  • Repairs  and replacement will cost an estimated R10 million, according to the provincial educations department.

Thirty-eight Western Cape schools lost sports equipment, gardening and maintenance equipment, lighting and electrical cables, computers, stationery, kitchen equipment and food supplies during burglaries over the mid-year vacation.

"Even where nothing was stolen, the attempts by these criminals to gain access to a school property caused damage to infrastructure. In some cases, wanton vandalism appears to be the motive – instead of stealing anything, the perpetrators simply destroyed anything, from furniture to bathroom fixtures. These are pointless and malicious acts, with our children on the losing end as a result. To damage your local school is self-sabotage," the provincial education department said on Sunday.

It said the cost of the repairs to and replacement of stolen goods was estimated to be R10 million.

The department said it was saddened by the vandalism and burglaries.

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At one of the schools, a security guard was killed while confronting burglars during the holidays.

"We offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends, and the school community. The district office has also offered counselling support to the school," the department said.

On Wednesday, the ANC in the province called on the public to inform the police of strange activities at public facilities, such as schools.

ANC MPL Khalid Sayed condemned the vandalism of schools and urged communities to put pressure on the police to take action.

ALSO READ 139 KwaZulu-Natal schools vandalised, says education dept

Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natal education department said an updated report indicated that 139 schools in the province were affected by recent unrest and that most of them were in Durban. The unrest between 9 and 16 July claimed the lives of more than 300 people in Gauteng and KZN.

KZN education department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said officials were also visiting districts to assess the damage.

He said the department held a meeting with teacher unions, school governing bodies and other stakeholders to discuss the issue.

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