Committee on Basic Education Expresses Concern Over Gangsterism, Criminality and Infrastructure in Schools

Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba is the Committee on Basic Education Chairperson (Photo via Parliament of South Africa).

The Committee on Basic Education visited several schools throughout the Western Cape on Monday to assess their readiness for the school year. Following those visits, the committee said it was concerned about the rise of gangs in schools.

Gangsterism and criminality were noted as concerns throughout the school visits, the committee said.  

Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba is the Chairperson of the Committee of Basic Education. She said these issues go beyond school grounds. 

"We understand that the issue of gangsters and criminality stems from our communities and society. In most instances this follow learners into our schools and school grounds,” Mbinqo-Gigaba said.

The chairperson said she hopes to get the Western Cape Education Department and the South African Police Services to work toward solving this issues in schools.

Other issues addressed in these visits included the ongoing unplaced learner issue and delays to infrastructure development. Mbinqo-Gigaba said these problems were worrying because they prevent learners from studying in "habitable schools."

Part of the infrastructure problem is a lack of transportation available for scholars, especially at special schools. The committee said that while these options are more expensive, it must find a way to allocate more resources toward special school scholar transport. 

The Committee on Basic Education will continue its visits to Western Cape schools throughout the week at Cape Winelands and Breede River. 

By Ben Rappaport