Three more schools were broken into and expensive learning equipment stolen from them, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Monday.
“EThekwini Primary [school] in Durban is the latest in a string of schools that have been damaged in recent weeks. The latest burglary happened last [Sunday] night,” she said in a statement.
This brings the number of school vandalised around the country to 183 since the Covid-19 lockdown was enforced.
Motshekga condemned the incidents of vandalism, burglary and destruction of schools across several provinces.
“It is quite disheartening that criminal elements in our communities could destroy the infrastructure of their own children with such apparent impunity. I am in constant touch with the Minister of Police [Bheki Cele], and with the assistance of the state intelligence forces, we are following leads to the immediate arrest and prosecution of every single criminal responsible,” she said.
“It is extremely disappointing for criminals, who are part of the community, to randomly destroy the same infrastructure meant to provide decent spaces of learning and teaching meant for our children.”
She called on community members to assist the police to identify the culprits, and not to buy stolen items.
“These criminals must be reported to the police immediately. Let us work together to safeguard the future of our children by exposing these criminal elements.”
She said the learners from these schools would be the hardest hit as there could be delays in the implementation of the curriculum recovery plan when schools finally reopen.
Schools in South Africa are in recess since mid March after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster and announced a lockdown in a bid to arrest the spread of the coronavirus.
The coronavirus was first record in Wuhan, China in December of 2019, it spread to other parts of the world and so far there were more than 1.8 million confirmed cases worldwide with over 115,000 deaths and over 430,000 recoveries.