BRIEF | CAPE TOWN 

Hanover Park parents threaten to shut down 10 schools

School Governing Body Forum says education department ignored its pleas about safety

Photo of protesters
In August mothers from Hanover Park and other Cape Flats communities marched to Parliament over the killing of their children in gang violence. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks
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The Western Cape Education Department has failed to respond to parents about their concerns over safety in schools, according to Hanover Park School Governing Body Forum chairperson Ebrahim Abrahams. He said they wrote to the department about violence and security on 28 September. The forum is now threatening to close down eight primary and two high schools in the district if their demands are not met.

The forum wants bullet reflective fences at schools, working alarm systems, intercoms and CCTV cameras. It also wants the Philippi police station to get more resources and supply visible policing when schools open and close to make sure learners arrive at school and go home safely. They also want police to conduct regular search and seizure operations at schools.

The schools represented in the letter sent to the WCED include Athwood, Blomvlei, Morgenson, Newfields, Parkfields, Summit and Voorspoed primary schools, and Crystal and Mountview high schools.

On 21 October the forum and parents will discuss the way forward at a meeting they have dubbed “enough is enough”. Afterwards the forum plans to hold a prayer walk at Freedom Square, Hanover Park, led by leaders in the Muslim and Christian faiths.

Millicent Merton of the Western Cape Education Department told GroundUp officials had held a meeting with all principals of schools in Hanover Park last week. A representative of the department will attend the forum meeting on Saturday.

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