Urgent plans needed to stop school vandalism – Desiree van der Walt

DA MP requests an urgent multi-stakeholder meeting with DBE, SAPS and Public Works

DA calls on DBE, SAPS and Public Works to present urgent plans to stop school vandalism

26 August 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will write to the Chairperson of Parliament’s Basic Education Portfolio Committee to request an urgent multi-stakeholder meeting with the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) after it was revealed that more than 2 000 schools were vandalised during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

Yesterday, Minister Motshekga revealed to the Basic Education Committee that 2 278 schools were vandalised country-wide when school were closed, and a further 36 schools have been vandalised since the reopening of schools – 33 of which were in KwaZulu-Natal. The MEC of Education in KZN, KwaziMshengu, needs to be strongly interrogated on his plans to safeguard schools in his province which seems to take the brunt of these attacks.

We cannot allow for this vandalism to continue. Schools that are unable to reopen due to vandalism will adversely affect learners that have had to overcome incredible odds this year in a bid to gain an education. Already our children have faced the onslaught of repeated school closures, empty stomachs and a technical divide due to the Covid-19 lockdown. We cannot allow them to be turned away because school property was vandalised.

The Department of Basic Education needs to work closely with DPWI in order to speed up the restoration of these affected schools. At the same time SAPS need to ensure, not only continuous police visibility and patrolling in high-risk areas, but also the speedy investigation of those who have been involved in these inexcusable acts of vandalism.

Our children’s education has suffered enough in 2020. This assault on education must be stopped once and for all.

Issued byDesiree van der Walt, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Basic Education, 26 August 2020