Security guards are not enough to deter criminals from ransacking schools, as 27 were hit by thugs over the winter holidays, Metro East district director Benjamin Schereka said.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said yesterday there were 27 incidents of burglary and vandalism over the same period last year, too.
The worst case happened in Metro East, where perpetrators broke into a school at 8am, an hour after the night shift security had left.
They broke two burglar prevention doors with an axe and made off with two computers, two printers with scanners, a photocopy machine, a microwave, a stove, an electric kettle, a fax machine, four electric heaters and two cellphones.
Schereka said they were constantly considering new safety measures.
“The criminals go up to the security guards with axes and guns, which leaves them helpless.
“Education is our first priority. We started a collaboration with districts across the province to see how we can curb this,” Schereka said.
Schäfer said one case had been reported as major, while the other 28 were classified as minor.
“While we note that one case was classified as major, another “minor” case is costing the department over R60000 to repair and replace what was damaged or stolen.
“The Cape Winelands District reported the highest number of cases.
“Seven schools reported incidents of burglary or vandalism.
“Six Metro Central and six Metro South schools reported incidents, while three schools in the Eden and Karoo District and three in the Metro East District reported incidents.
“One school in each of the Metro North and the Overberg districts reported incidents,” Schäfer said.
At another Metro East school, perpetrators gained access to the administration block by breaking through a safety door. In other cases, perpetrators stole CCTV cameras and kitchen equipment.
“Perpetrators also targeted ablutions facilities and stole basins, flush mechanisms, copper wiring and pipes from schools,” Schäfer said.