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School vandalism during July riots cost Department of Basic Education R200 million

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Published Mar 8, 2022

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Cape Town - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the damage caused in schools during the looting in July last year amounted to more than R200 million.

A number of schools were damaged in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng during the unrest.

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The department had complained at the time that this would impact on the education system and require a lot of money to fix the schools.

Motshekga, who was replying to a question in Parliament on Tuesday from Bax Nodada of the DA, said they have also asked the provincial departments to look at goods and services looted last year.

She said the cost of the damage to schools in the two provinces was huge: “The total damage to schools in both provinces amounted to R203 900 949.77.”

She would not elaborate on the question of the cost of damage to schools due to vandalism since 2014.

Motshekga said they were getting information from provincial departments to look at the cost of the damage over the past eight years.

When the looting started last July in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng it set the economy back by R50 billion.

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Thousands of businesses were affected by the damage caused by the violence and looting. The violence also claimed the lives of more than 340 people.

The police and intelligence agencies were accused of sloppy work during the riots. But the government has promised to tighten measures to prevent similar incidents.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that 12 000 new police officers would be recruited this year to beef up the police.

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Police Minister Bheki Cele said R8.7bn that has been allocated to the police for the hiring of the new officers would be used for that purpose.

He said the 12 000 new recruits will be deployed to specialised units, including Public Order Policing, the National Intervention Unit, the Special Task Force and the Tactical Response Unit.

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