This morning I received details on the number of burglary and vandalism cases reported to the department by our schools over the recent holiday period. 24 schools were vandalised over the period from 8 December 2012 to 14 January 2013.
In the 2011/12 holiday period the same number of cases was reported. Therefore the number of incidents has remained the same. The Cape Winelands Education District had the most incidents. 6 cases were reported there. Both the West Coast District and the Overberg District had no reported cases.
All the incidents appear to be minor cases. The estimated damages have yet to be determined at all 24 schools. Of the 14 schools that have calculated estimated costs, the estimated cost of damages amounts to R130 000.
In two cases, meters of fencing was stolen. In one case, in Tulbagh, a man from the community damaged the schools fence by driving into it. In many instances, taps and light fittings were the main target. In a case at a school near Muizenberg, 22 monitors were stolen from the computer laboratory.
It is disappointing that we have people within our communities that see fit to damage and steal from our schools. In many cases these incidents directly affect our learners. It is them who suffer the effects of their illegal behaviour.
I appeal again to communities to help the Western Cape Education Department protect our schools. We have seen how communities can play a major role in preventing such incidents. Their eyes and ears are just as valuable as any security system.