Recieve revolutionary greetings from the leadership of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS), the biggest students organization in Africa. It is unfortunate that we’re not releasing this communique from a place of contentment but we are rather very disturbed and agitated by the devastating number of school burglaries which have been escalating in Gauteng Province since the dawn of the Lockdown period.
It has come to our attention that since His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a nationwide lockdown from the 26th of March 2020, there has been an alarming number of school burglaries in Gauteng, leaving us with a total of 55 school with reported cases of burglaries, vandalism and arson.
We are particularly concerned that during a period where The South African Police Services (SAPS) and the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) have been deployed to our communities to oversee and assist with the movement of people, we see the crime statistics in our schools drastically increasing. We call on the Armed Forces of this country to be deployed in protecting our school property. It can never be correct that the future of the children of this country is stolen by opportunistic criminals who vandalize tools and infrastructure created to better advance the future of this country and nothing is done about it. We understand that this is a tough time for the nation and hence we call the men and women in uniform to protect these institutions because that’s where the future of this country will come from. We plead with relevant authorities to treat this with utmost seriousness and attention it deserves, because we don’t want problems to post the lockdown when learners must access their basic right to education.
To prove that something is suspicious and incompetent in the office of Minster Bheki Cele it can’t be that there are more than 87 000 cases reported of GBV during the lockdown period and there are 55 Cases reported of school bulgaries in one province. It proves how that department undermines the struggles of women and children we are calling on Minister Cele to wake up and stop with his populist stances and ensure the SAPS protects the country and not continue with abusing their power and victimizing citizens.
We are calling on the MEC of Community Safety in Gauteng Hon. Faith Mazibuko to intervene because we believe when you burn a school you burn the future of this glorious nation. The MEC must take drastic measures in deploying trained and equipped security to our schools, not Community Police Forums (CPF). We know that members of CPF have not received adequate training and equipment that will help them protect themselves and the school when an incident occurs. We urge the MEC to take pragmatic steps in ensuring that our schools are protected from security violations and crimes working in hand in hand with The MEC of Education in Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
We sadly note that some of the repeatedly looted items in our schools are supplies for the School Nutrition Programme of Feeding Schemes. We see this as a direct reflection of the socio-economic challenges in our communities, with people resorting to stealing food to put a meal on the table due to the loss of income. We condemn these actions with the contempt it deserves whilst calling on government and administrators of the Solidarity Fund to provide food packages in our communities as people in our townships and informal communities are suffering in the period.
“A Country that does not take care of its youth does not deserve its future” Oliver Reginald Tambo
Yours in Student Leadership
074 736 7729
Facebook: COSAS HQ