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Vandalism forces WCED to up emergency maintenance budget

Over the two-week April school break, vandals targeted 17 schools in the province, two more than the same period last year.

FILE: A bathroom at Cascade Primary School where intruders caused flooding after entering through the ceiling. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape Education Department says it has been forced to up its emergency maintenance budget by R10 million this year due to an increase in school vandalism.

Over the two-week April school break, vandals targeted 17 schools in the province, two more than the same period last year.

The incidents, which include theft of copper pipes, electrical cabling, computer equipment, school stationery – will set the department back more than R150,000 for repairs.

The Education MEC'S spokesperson Jessica Shelver says: "In some incidents perpetrators targeted to schools simply to destroy property and didn’t take anything. This is shocking and unacceptable. Damage to classrooms, computer labs and school halls included theft of and damage to light fittings, broken windows and stolen sporting equipment."

Shelver says this affects the department's purse badly.

“We have also had to increase our emergency budget this year to R30 million, which is up from R20 million for the 2016 financial year. It's unfortunate that we have to spend such a large amount of money on repair work at schools as a result of burglary and vandalism."

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