Almost 1900 Schools Vandalised During Lockdown
A concerning number of schools have been vandalised during this National Lockdown period. With budget cuts and money needed to be directed towards other projects, the Department is now falling short.
After more than 500 days of lockdown, over 1800 schools have been vandalised. The Department of Basic Education is calling this a national crisis.
The looting activities and unrest we saw in the country just a few weeks ago worsened an already concerning situation as schools are targeted for theft and violence.
DBE's Spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, said:
It is a crisis because it's an alarming number of schools that have been damaged and the costs is just too much.
These damages amount to millions of rands which the department says they can't afford.
The Basic Education Portfolio Committee received a report which outlined that the damage schools sustained from looting amounted to R140 million. 139 schools were affected in KwaZulu-Natal with another 53 in Gauteng.
KZN school damage amounted to R88 million with Gauteng seeing R53 million in damage costs.
"We are working on replacing that schools and putting in their place, appropriately built structures that are conducive for learning and teaching," said Mhlanga.
On whether they'd be able to repair the damage, he says it depends on the type of damage which took place.
With some schools being completely destroyed, they would then have to be completely rebuilt and mobile classrooms will need to be used for the time being, which are very expensive.
We'll basically be doing one thing twice. First, replacing the damaged structure with mobile classrooms to accommodate teachers and learners immediately for learning to continue and then we'll have to go back to the budget and have to find money to build that school using bricks and mortar and that is not something that you can do in a short space of time.
He continued to explain that everything has to be budgeted for within a budgeting cycle, which is usually three years long.
The department has a backlog infrastructure grant which is geared towards school infrastructure backlogs which is being used to replace schools across the country.
With budget cuts in the department, Mhlanga says they have money to repair old schools but not for structures which were in good condition but were destroyed by people for no reason.
The department believes that a national conversation has to take place to address this matter.
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