Cape Town – Education MEC David Maynier said that despite the decrease in number of schools affected by burglary and vandalism over the holidays, they are “nonetheless disappointed”.
The MEC said that despite the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) providing holiday security to 486 schools over the December holidays, they recorded 26 incidents of burglary and vandalism at 24 schools over the holiday period.
“While this is a significant decrease compared to the same holiday period last year, when 48 incidents were reported at 42 schools, we are nonetheless disappointed that once again our schools must pick up the pieces after criminal damage and theft,” he said.
Items stolen or damaged ranged from gas cylinders and food to computers and cameras. Damaged property included electrical boxes, windows, ceilings, doors and security equipment.
“It is unacceptable that funding has to be diverted from educational purposes each year to replace items that have been stolen or repair infrastructure damaged for no reason, especially in a significantly stressed financial environment.
“Damaging and stealing from schools sabotages our childrens’ futures, and we appeal to the public to come forward if they notice anyone attempting to sell goods that have been stolen from our schools,” Maynier said.
“Someone, somewhere knows these perpetrators, and we appeal to them to do the right thing so that our schools cease to be a target of crime.”
He added that reporting any suspicious activity in the vicinity of schools to the police or the Safe Schools hotline (0800 45 46 47) immediately can make all the difference in apprehending the perpetrators and recovering stolen property.
“Help us to protect our schools and the future of our learners in the Western Cape.”