Quarterly crime stats: schools are a bloodbath

Issued by Marina van Zyl MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Basic Education
19 Feb 2024 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Marina van Zyl MP

The third quarter crime statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) revealed that nothing has been done to turn South African schools into safe havens for learners. The total number of murders and rapes committed on the premises of educational institutions last year are 34 and 290 respectively.

Between October and December last year, there were 7 murders, 24 attempted murders, 252 cases of assault/grievous bodily harm (GBH), and 61 rapes on the premises of schools, universities, colleges, day care/after care facilities.

If we consider that not all instances of rapes and cases of sexual abuse are reported, the number of gender-based violence (GBV) victims might be much higher, and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) must do much more to ensure that learners, teachers, and other personnel are safe at schools.

The DA’s basic education policy focuses on a whole of society approach to address the problem of unsafe schools.

The DA’s Western Cape Safe Schools Programme employs a whole of society approach to create safe spaces that would minimise opportunities for abuse, developmental programmes to positively influence parent, teacher, and learner behaviours, and ensuring the implementation of safety policies and reporting structures.

Educators who have been found guilty of abuse must be automatically included in the Child Protection Register. And dedicated psycho-social support must be provided for identified high-risk areas.

It is time that South Africans take learner safety seriously and vote for the DA in the upcoming national elections. We believe that every learner deserves a safe space that facilitates a conducive learning environment and provide them with the necessary skills to have prosperous and happy futures.