Pretoria pupil’s ear cut off: Community Safety must step up school safety efforts

John Moodey MPL

Provincial Leader

The DA in Gauteng is shocked to read that a┬áPretoria schoolboy’s ear was sliced off with a machete during a violent attack by a rival school gang.┬áThe DA trusts that the perpetrators of this horrible act will be brought to book.

These events unfortunately confirm the DA’s fears about escalating school violence in the province, a subject the DA pushed for in an intense debate in the Legislature this week.

While we are pleased with Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy’s efforts in addressing the problem, the Gauteng Community Safety Department has a track record on school safety that leaves much to be desired.

According to the Department’s latest Annual Report a number of key school safety targets were not met, including:

  • School safety plans developed and safety teams established (233 of the planned 350 were not established);
  • Coordinating school safety searches (only 189 of the planned 200 took place);
  • Monotoring school safety plans (a 196 plans were not monitored);
  • Number of schools where safety desks are established (only 32 of the planned 50).

Addressing the growing scourge of school violence requires all stakeholders to come to the party, especially the Community Safety Department.

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Nonhlanhla Mazibuko must outline her strategy to combat escalating school violence in the province.

The DA will push the provincial government to address this as a priority. We are no longer dealing with random and infrequent incidents, we are dealing with a growing problem that must concern all of us greatly and inspire urgent action.