Western Cape Education

Credit: Western Cape Education Department

Western Cape Education Minister pleads for specialised gang units to be deployed

Things are getting desperate now…

Western Cape Education

Credit: Western Cape Education Department

The Western Cape Education Department is joining the calls for specialised gang units and the army to be deployed in the province. Once again, communities and children are seeing their education directly affected by gangs in the area.

Western Cape Education department: The kids are suffering

On Tuesday, Western Cape Education Minister, Debbie Schafer, released a statment detailing how schools have been urged to review their safety plans due to the ongoing gang warfare threat.

“Every school must have a safety committee responsible for implementing a safety plan that meets the needs of the particular school.  Schools need to ensure that these committees are well-functioning and that staff members are aware of their relevant responsibilities should any emergencies arise,” Schafer said.

While the department recognises the importance of a safety plan, it also says that it can not compensate for “the lack of police presence” around schools.

Read: Cele slams DA for calling for deployment of army in the Cape Flats

Schafer highlights how Scottsdene saw shots “ring out continuously” around various schools.

One police officer arrived but could not enter the area until backup arrived. It never did.

“How are the police supposed to prevent, combat and investigate crime as they are constitutionally mandated to do, when they are so severely under-resourced?”

Schafer says that the only solution to ongoing gang violence is to increase the SAPS presence on the ground and around the schools. The Department wants specialised gang units brought back as well as the army brought in on a “temporary basis”.

“The result of the chronic under-resourcing of the SAPS in the Western Cape is that criminals, and gangs in particular, are literally running riot holding our children and communities hostage.”

“Due to severe under resourcing, the SAPS officers that we do have, are putting their own lives at risk every day. Without enough support and back up they become targets themselves.”

Schafer and the department also argued that the more education is affected, the more children will become involved with gangs.