Gate security guards are not enough to keep schools safe, say parents


No solutions for Hanover Park schools

Photo of woman addressing meeting
Carmelita Prinsloo of the Western Cape Education Department addressed Hanover Park parents on Saturday. Photo: Bernard Chiguvare

Members of Hanover Park School Governing Board Forum and officials from the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) met at the weekend to discuss security at schools.

The meeting was a follow-up to threats by the Forum that they would close 10 schools in Hanover Park if their demands for safety and security measures in the schools were not met.

The Forum wants bullet reflective fences, working alarms, intercoms and CCTV cameras.

Carmelita Prinsloo, Safe Schools Coordinator at WCED, said all schools in Hanover Park were supplied with an alarm system. She urged schools to call the WCED toll free number 0800454647 or SAPS if they are in danger.

Millicent Merton, a spokesperson for the WCED, told GroundUp that two security guards had been employed until December at every school to assist with access control. She said next year the department would assess school safety again.

The WCED did not provide CCTV cameras, she said. Schools could install their own cameras.

But a member of Athwood Primary School Governing Board, who preferred to remain anonymous, said gate access control was not enough. “Gangsters can still run and can even shoot while on school premises. Our schools are in a danger zone.”

Diana Williams, principal of Parkfields Primary School, was against the closing down of schools in protest. “Change starts with us parents,” she said. She urged parents to discard the idea of closing down schools and concentrate on educating their children.

Noncedo Madubedube from Equal Education said the Forum was making a collective effort to make schools safe places.

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TOPICS:  Education