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Civil groups call for integrated approach to address violence in schools

Deputy Police minister Bongani Mkongi held a School and Campus Safety Dialogue at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology on Saturday.

Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Cape Town civic organisations say an integrated approach is needed to address violence in schools.

Deputy Police minister Bongani Mkongi held a School and Campus Safety Dialogue at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology on Saturday.

It's part of the Campus Safety program launched by the police minister in Tshwane in May.

Vanessa Adriaanse from Mothers for Justice says learner safety should be a priority for the government.

Her organisation escorts learners to and from school because of gang violence in Heideveld and Manenberg.

Adriaanse says they are still waiting for answers after a nursing student was found dead at Cape Peninsula University of Technology's Athlone campus last year.

“We can do this all over. We went to a lot of places to encourage people to come and work together because despite the quality of work we’re doing we’re getting no assistance.”

Mkongi says he wants school and campus structures to get involved in crime fighting.

“We must involve SGB because the primary function also of the SGBs is to look at the safety. So, we must mobilise them and the learner to be part of this project.”

END VIOLENCE

Cape Town students are appealing to the government to step up and address violence in schools.

Young people from various institutions say violence in schools is having a negative impact on learning.

Some of the concerns highlighted in high schools are the use of drugs, gang violence, sexual assault, and robberies.

During the group sessions, learners suggested metal detectors, increased searches by police and other law enforcement agencies and patrols around schools where gang violence is rife.

Clareece Cupido from Arcadia Senior Secondary in Bontehweul said officers should visit her school more often to search for drugs and weapons.

“The law enforcement is not consistent in what they are doing; they come in, they search you probably once a year.”

Another learner from Voorburg High in Delft Anichia Rudolph said drug use among learners is concerning as some become violent and attack innocent learners.

“Some learners are drug addicts, some sell drugs and there some learners that stab other learners as well.”

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