DBE suffered damages of R300m after schools were looted and vandalised during unrest, says Motshekga
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Johannesburg - The Department of Basic Education suffered financial losses of more than R300 million due to damages of schools during the violent unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
This was revealed by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, when she addressed the media on Saturday about the state of readiness of schooling ahead of the opening on Monday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to confirm the date of the official opening after meeting the Inter-Ministerial Advisory Committee (IMC) and Cabinet on Sunday.
He is due to address the nation later on Sunday - following his promise to do so on July 11 when he tightened restrictions on level 4 lockdown regulations.
As Ramaphosa is expected to give finer details on schooling, Motshekga bemoaned the violence and destructions on schools in the two provinces.
She said 137 schools; three educational centres and eight circuit offices were damaged in KwaZulu-Natal alone while Gauteng had 43 damaged schools.
“While 43 schools were damaged in Gauteng, eleven of them were damaged during the violent unrest. 29 of the schools had already been repaired. Officials in both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal are working hard to ensure that normal schooling resumes on Monday.
“In KwaZulu-Natal, officials have informed us that some of the damaged schools incurred serious damages which could pose a danger to the lives of learners. They are now finding alternative places to teach the learners,” Motshekga said.
She said that the criminals destroyed plumbing equipment, ripped electrical wires and set libraries on fire.
“In the face of such major damages, we need to stand together in condemning the destruction of public and private property. We need to mobilise our learners to help us safeguard our schools,” Motshekga urged.
She also said her department will be consulted with various civil society organisations to help in protecting the schools.