The Western Cape has had to fork out more than R500 000 due to vandalism at schools over the winter holidays.
The wellbeing of pupils could be compromised if these incidents are not curbed.
Vandals damaging school premises and stealing much-needed equipment is It’s not an unfamiliar occurrence.
Over the recent school holidays, almost 30 schools were targeted.
The cost of damage to 23 of those schools already amounts to R500 000.
The Western Cape Education Department is reluctant to divulge the names or locations of the schools, for fear they may become further targets.
“Most of them, 26 of them, were classified as minor, although one minor incident is costing us R60,000,” says Debbie Schafer, the provincial MEC for education.
“The worst affected area in terms of the number of incidents was our Cape Winelands District, and then the worst incidents were in our Metro East area.”
Schafer says the criminal acts will undoubtedly have a negative impact on children.
“We’ve had computers stolen, admin computers, we’ve had even things like stoves and ovens at schools, which is shocking because that is what we use for our feeding programme, where some of our learners don’t get food other than at school, and now people even steal that.”
Schafer says while plans are in place to safeguard schools, the onus is ultimately on the police to ensure law and order.
There are now concerns that more and much worse vandalism could occur during the December school break.[source: ENCA]