While teachers and learners were on holiday, thieves were busy breaking into schools and stealing schooling equipment.
Since the beginning of the holidays, Western Cape Department of Education recorded 48 break-in incidents at 42 schools.
“Even fencing, security guards, and cameras were not enough to stop criminals from sabotaging our children’s education,” said MEC of Education David Maynier.
Thieves stole and also damaged properties at various schools. Amongst stolen and damaged things included bathroom fixtures and water piping, water pumps and meters, drain covers, fencing, windows and doors, and computers.
The department said further stolen and damaged items are IT and audio-visual equipment and cabling, lights and electrical equipment, kitchen appliances and tools, bicycles, garden tools, and consumables like toilet paper and black bags.
The department said they will not disclose the names of schools for security reasons.
“Arrests were made in relation to some of the incidents, and we will closely monitor the progress of these cases,” said Maynier.
“It is disappointing that our department and our schools will once again have to divert funding that could have been spent on the educational needs of our learners to cover this entirely unnecessary cost,” said Maynier.
Maynier urged residents to take part in protecting schools from criminals.