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WC records 63 incidents of burglary, vandalism of schools during lockdown

The Western Cape Education Department's Bronagh Hammond said that included in the list of stolen items were electricity cables, computer equipment, fencing, garden tools and security gates.

Chalk and a blackboard duster in the refurbished Samson Senior Primary School in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - It's going to be hard enough to try and play catch-up when teachers and learners finally return to the classroom after the lockdown is lifted.

To make matters worse, children and educators at dozens of schools in the Western Cape are going to head back to find their school buildings burgled and vandalised.

The Western Cape Education Department said that it had recorded 63 incidents of burglary and vandalism since the school holidays started on 20 March, a week before the lockdown came into effect.

The Western Cape Education Department's Bronagh Hammond said that included in the list of stolen items were electricity cables, computer equipment, fencing, garden tools and security gates.

"The cost of the damages are still to be determined overall. The WCED would like to thank community members who have reported suspicious behaviour in and around our schools."

But this problem isn't unique to the Western Cape.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said that in total 402 schools had been vandalised across the country during the lockdown period.

She said that Mpumalanga had the highest number of cases at 73 followed by Gauteng at 67 and then the Western Cape.

Motshekga said she was concerned that the damage caused by arson, breakage and theft would have a negative impact on the implementation of a recovery plan once the lockdown was lifted.

At this stage, it's not yet been determined how soon after the lockdown schooling would resume.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.