The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is shocked to learn that 105 cases of burglary and vandalism have been opened by Gauteng schools since the beginning of the year.
This was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).
According to MEC Mazibuko, the following schools in Gauteng have opened cases of burglary in 2021: Orlando High School in Soweto, Sebokeng Community Learning Centre, WF Nkomo Secondary School in Atteridgeville, Mthombo Primary School in Mamelodi and Tshepisong Primary School in Kagiso.
Of these cases reported, only 6 arrests have been made, with all cases still under investigation.
Furthermore, most of the suspects arrested are repeat offenders and still on trial for other charges.
It is concerning that our schools continue to be a target for criminals and that both the Gauteng Department of Education and Community Safety have dismally failed to prevent the incidents of theft and burglaries.
The DA believes that there are more cases than the 105 cases of burglary and vandalism that have been reported, as many schools in different regions have experienced incidents of theft, burglary, and vandalism since the beginning of the year.
It is very worrying that the Gauteng Department of Education continues to lose millions of rands in theft, burglaries, and vandalism while not much is being done to safeguard assets.
These incidents clearly indicate an ineffective school safety strategy and that South African Police Service (SAPS) is failing to prioritise the safety of schools.
There is also a need for community members to take ownership of the schools. Also strengthening the relationship with law enforcement agencies to prioritize school safety.
There is also a great need to put fences or walls surrounding the schools to ensure safety.
The DA calls on the SAPS to ensure that all cases reported are investigated and result in convictions. They should also prioritise school safety by ensuring police visibility across all schools.