Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

Gauteng schools may need to use soap over sanitiser after PPE is stolen

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said there has been five school break-ins for PPE thus far. PPE with an element of alcohol is being targeted.

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Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said schools may need to use soap because they are being broken into for personal protective equipment (PPE) with an element of alcohol like hand sanitisers.

On Tuesday 26 May, while visiting the Ga-Rankuwa Primary School in Tshwane, Lesufi said five schools have been broken into for PPE, thus far. 

Grade 7 and 12 learners are expected back on 1 June as per Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshkega’s directives. The rest of the country’s learners will return in a phased-in approach. 

SOAP OVER HAND SANITISER  

Lesufi said that due to some of the PPE being alcohol-based, those who break-in, are targeting those items. 

“So far, there have been five schools that have been vandalised, where people are looking for the PPE’s,” said Lesufi. 

“And that is why I’m persuading the Department of Health that we might have to concentrate on using soap at our schools because the PPE’s, that have an element of alcohol, are starting to attract the wrong people,” he added. 

Ga-Rankuwa Primary School is among the few schools which initially didn’t receive their PPEs in the Tshwane West District, for different security reasons. The delivery of PPEs was scheduled to be conducted under police escort on Monday.

Sikhulisile Primary School in Ekangala was broken into on Friday 22 May. Department spokesperson Steve Mabona said the suspects came back to the school on Sunday night and stole PPE meant for educators and learners. 

“This is the second break-in in the school within 48 hours so it’s quite sad to experience such incidents,” said Mabona.    

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Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Image via: Gauteng Education Department
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Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Image via: Gauteng Education Department
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Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Image via: Gauteng Education Department

SCHOOLS CAN CLOSE AT THE DROP OF A HAT 

Motshekga, while speaking on The Big Debate, said South Africa could be moved back to Level 4 or even Level 5, at any time.

“If things are not working, we will have to go back to Level 4; the same with education – if we open and we experience difficulties, there is nothing stopping us from closing schools. We are dealing with something we do not know. When we have to reverse, we will, but we cannot be standing on the banks forever,” said Motshekga. 

“When we declared lockdown, we said it was only to flatten the curve of infections. We’re now at the stage where we think the health system can cope with a rise in cases. We must keep informing ourselves and remembering what the intention of these regulations were,” she added. 

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