By Mbali Ntuli, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Education:
THE DA expects answers from KZN Education MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni on the issue of school security after two separate incidents in the province this week which left three learners dead.
In Newcastle a 12-year-old pupil was arrested after he allegedly stabbed to two 15 year old learners to death yesterday. In another incident, a 17-year-old pupil from Esikhaleni was shot by a “known suspect” on Monday.
The DA extends its sincere condolences to the families of these young people.
We are deeply concerned by the rising level of violent and other crimes within KZN schools and will again raise this issue with MEC Nkonyeni.
In June a parliamentary reply to questions by the DA revealed that almost half of KZN’s schools do not any have any form of security with 3 020 schools currently employing a security officer and 2 984 schools with no one in this role.
The MEC’s reply also stated that the department’s policy is to provide one post for a security officer to each school in the province.
To date, the department has lamented a lack of funds to do so.
The DA does not buy this excuse when preliminary reports also show under-spending in a number of fields.
It is a matter of priorities.
We have also been advised that the long-awaited financial audit into the KZN Education department’s affairs is complete.
We expect the MEC to make the outcomes known without any further delay and to act on the report’s recommendations so that funding can be diverted to where it is most needed.
For learners to function properly, they must be safe. The DA expects answers from MEC Nkonyeni without delay.