Crime in schools costs the Gauteng department of education R121-million



The Gauteng department of education says it has spent over a R121-million at 256 schools in the province since the start of the year, as a result of theft and vandalism in schools.

In a statement, the department said that, since the beginning of the year, there have been 262 theft and vandalism cases reported by schools.

“The criminal incidents such as theft, burglaries and vandalism led to the loss of valuable resources meant to enhance the delivery of quality education to learners. Unfortunately, our resources are seen by some as an opportunity to feed their criminal deeds and rob our learners of their right to quality basic education,” read the statement.

Statistics included in the statement show that in the Gauteng east district, the department spent just over R10-million at 16 schools that had encountered 46 cases of theft and vandalism, the department spent about R2-million at schools in Johannesburg south and Sedibeng west districts were six schools experienced six cases of theft and vandalism and 27 schools had 35 cases of theft and vandalism respectively. While 29 cases of theft and vandalism at 27 schools in Ekurhuleni north cost the department about R4-million.

In January, the multi-million rand Menzi Primary School, in Tsakane, was broken into days after it was opened. Criminals made away with, among other things, 185 tablets for learners, eight laptops for teachers, two data projectors and three desktop computers.

The department also revealed that there were 187 cases of bullying and 107 assault that have been recorded since the start of the year.

Yesterday, the provincial MEC for education, Panyaza Lesufi, visited Thuto-Lesedi Secondary School were it emerged that two boy learners allegedly raped a girl learner at the school. The two learners are currently suspended.

“We would like to appeal to members of the community to take ownership of their schools and declare war against criminals who are targeting schools. Learners must always focus on their education and avoid ill-discipline,”said Lesufi in the statement.

Meanwhile, Free State MEC for Education, Tate Makgoe, tweeted that three Grade 8 learners from Sediti Secondary School near Thaba Nchu had been suspended for allegedly sexually assaulting a Grade 12 boy learner, from the same school, earlier this month. 

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Bongekile Macupe
Bongekile Macupe is an education reporter at the Mail & Guardian.

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