Concerned parents at several villages around Moruleng, near Rustenburg in the North West, have urged the provincial Education Department to prioritize the safety of their children in schools.
Four schools in the area were torched on Friday. At one school two classrooms completely burned out. At another 200 chairs, tables and a structure used for assembly were set alight. Attempts to torch two other schools were unsuccessful.
Police are searching for the suspects. Now, parents are questioning safety measures in schools.
“We are worried about schools being burnt and we would really like to see improved security at schools. We must also stand up against this as parents. For our children to be safe, security at schools must be tightened. They must monitor people going in and out of schools and government must do something urgently because this will mean that children will now be overcrowded in classrooms and there is still coronavirus.”
In April, South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) in North West condemned vandalism of schools in different parts of the province during the lockdown. At the time, 60 schools in the province had been vandalized.
The provincial Education Department says although it has started rolling out 24-hour security measures in some schools, their budget is not enough to cater for all schools.
Departmental Spokesperson, Elias Malindi, says, “We also have to observe these areas and see what is that we can do, and also to talk to Treasury to at least increase our budgets so that we can be able to provide security in all our schools.”
Police spokesperson, Sabata Mokgwabone says investigations are under way. Police have pleaded with residents to assist with information that can lead to the arrests of the suspects.