Learner, educator and school safety in the Manenberg area is an on-going concern and challenge for WCED (Western Cape Education Department).
Since the outbreak of gang violence in Manenberg, the WCED has directed a great deal of resources and support to the area.
The WCED is doing all it can to protect learners and educators in school but it is unfortunately unable to ensure peace and safety within the community.
The management and control of the underlying problems of gangsterism and violence in the Manenberg area go well beyond the capacity of an education department to correct.
Our officials and educators are not law enforcers. Law enforcement is the responsibility of SAPS.
Our schools and the WCED therefore rely on SAPS to ensure order within our communities so that our school system can function as normal and our educators and learners are kept safe.
While there has been an increase in police presence in the area, educators have reported that the safety of our learners and educators has continued to be threatened. Some of our educators have reported to Metro Central District office for duty instead of their schools.
The WCED has decided, following a discussion with the educators, to close the schools in Manenberg for the next two days as a result of the threat to their safety.
A meeting has also been arranged for tomorrow between a representative group of these educators and the Government of the Western Cape.
Our learners' and educators' safety remains our primary concern, along with the longer term loss of teaching and learning time.
These will be addressed tomorrow.