The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has expressed their shocked to learn that over 721 cases of theft and vandalism have been opened by Gauteng schools since 2019.
However, it was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the GPL.
According to MEC Mazibuko, the schools in Gauteng have opened 721 cases of theft, burglary, and vandalism.
In addition, of these cases reported, the following arrests have been made since 2019: 17 for theft, 45 for burglary and 5 for vandalism.
“It is very worrying that there is a low arrest rate despite the high number of cases reported,” said DA.
The DA believes that there are more cases than the 721 cases of theft, burglary and vandalism opened by Gauteng schools as these responses do not include cases opened during the lockdown period.
“The fact that there is a low arrest rate clearly indicates an ineffective school safety strategy and that the SAPS are failing to prioritize schools as there is no investigation progress report for the cases opened,” said DA.
It added that it’s concerning that the department continues to lose millions in theft and burglaries while not much is being done to safeguard assets.
The department has failed dismally in preventing incidents of theft, vandalism, and burglary in our schools.
According to DA the untrained and unarmed school patrollers alone will not be able to safeguard the valuable assets. There is also a need for community members to take ownership of the schools.
“We will recommend that the department explores the feasibility of employing permanent security guards to safeguard schools, particularly in areas that have a high crime rate,” the party said.
The DA calls on the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko to liaise with the Gauteng Provincial SAPS Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela to ascertain why there is such a low arrest rate with regard to theft, burglary and vandalism at Gauteng schools.