Motshekga calls for strict rules for scrap metal sector to curb school vandalism

Each year, schools have to bear the brunt of criminals stealing and damaging school infrastructure during the holidays so they can resell the items.

FILE: Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is calling for a better regulated scrap metal industry in order to curb vandalism at schools.

Each year, schools have to bear the brunt of criminals stealing and damaging school infrastructure during the holidays so they can resell the items.

Last year in Gauteng alone, the department spent R50 million to fix 54 schools that were targeted by vandals.

Some schools are being targeted for their smart technology in classrooms while others are simply being stripped for metal and other materials that can be sold off by syndicates for money.

This December was no different; Motshekga said some schools had become regular targets.

“That’s why government has to look into whether should allow scrap metal business to continue, because buildings are vandalised for scrap metal.”

And to fix school infrastructure regularly, is like throwing resources into a dark pit.

The minister said schools had to improvise: “Some schools have to use plastic taps because steel taps are being stolen.”

She is suggesting the only solution for this ongoing costly problem is to closely monitor the scrap metal sector or remove demand for it completely.