The Western Cape Government has committed to securely fencing 30 schools annually for five years – a total of 150 schools over this period.
This forms part of the FY 2023/24 budget for FY 2023/24 of R71.6 million To enhance safety and security in schools amid a decline in school safety, Western Cape Education Minister David Maynier said in a session of the Legislative Council.
During the House Sitting, Maynet highlighted ways to enhance safety and security in schools.
The Western Cape Government intends to increase the number of School Resource Officers (SROs) stationed in schools annually, to address safety and crime issues.
“This year we will find 18 additional School Resource Officers, bringing the total number of officers deployed to our schools to 46. We will add 18 more, and the year after that another 18 staff, for a total of 82 Responsible for Relocations in our schools,” said Mynier.
The new officers will be stationed in crime hotspots in Khayelitsha, Westbank, Delft, Hanover Park and Felipewhere it is urgently required.
Continued security support
To ensure that schools are safe during and after school activities, the government is providing holiday security subsidies to 436 schools, and will continue to support emergency security. You will receive a total of 860 schools Safe Schools Program training in the current year.
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Schools that have not yet received security plan training will be supported with a plan to develop security plan training.
“Our district support teams have implemented a variety of Positive Behavior and Coaching Program sessions on Trauma Conscious Schools, and emotional assistance training has reached thousands of educators across the county,” Meynier said.
He also touched on the importance of the Safe Schools Holiday Program which was held during the winter break, with the aim of providing learners with a “safe environment and positive activities to keep them out of harm’s way when schools are closed”.
Mayner pointed out that the safety crisis in schools cannot be solved by the government alone. The Western Cape Education Department works closely with law enforcement, NGOs and other Western Cape government departments to deal with safety in a comprehensive manner, but community support is also required.
“Someone somewhere knows who the perpetrators are and they should speak up. As always, we urge the public to report any suspicious activity in and around our schools to SAPS or the School Safety Hotline immediately as this can make a huge difference in catching the perpetrators and keeping schools safe in the Western Cape.”
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Ferlon Christian, the Western Cape Provincial Chair of the African Christian Democratic Party, told the legislature that education cannot solve all problems on its own. “I know as a member that the primary responsibility of the board of middle education is education and not the safety of the community, but education cannot do it alone. You have to look at the community approach now and get the community involved. I am absolutely terrified that these weapons are entering our school now.” DM
Call the School Safety Call Center hotline at 080-045-4647.