Gauteng schools hit by spate of burglaries and vandalism
There have been 105 cases of burglaries and incidents of vandalism opened by schools in Gauteng since the start of the year.
Community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko confirmed the extent of the problem in response to a DA question tabled in the provincial legislature.
She said of the 105 cases opened with the police, only six arrests had been made and the remainder of cases were under investigation.
She said her department had identified hotspot areas for school burglaries and police and community patrollers had been deployed there.
DA MPL Khume Ramulifho said in a statement it was worrying that the education department continued to lose millions of rand due to theft, burglaries and vandalism.
“These incidents clearly indicate an ineffective school safety strategy and that the SA Police Service (SAPS) is failing to prioritise the safety of schools,” said Ramulifho.
“There is a need for community members to take ownership of the schools [and] also strengthening the relationship with law enforcement agencies to prioritise 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.”
Schools were hit hard by burglaries across the country in 2020 when most were vacant at times during the coronavirus lockdown.
In one incident, however, education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said the police managed to arrest suspects alleged to have been behind dozens of burglaries in Gauteng.