CRIMINALS targeting Mpumalanga schools have cost taxpayers more than R7million over the past 12 months.
In response to a DA question in the provincial legislature yesterday, MEC for education Reginah Mhaule said R7474600 was used to fix property destroyed, damaged or stolen in Mpumalanga schools.
In the 2008-09 appropriation budget for Mpumalanga, Mmathulare Coleman, former MEC for finance, included security at schools as a top priority.
The infrastructure grant in the 2009-10 appropriation budget, which includes securing school facilities, stands at R771, 968million.
T o date, only 18 percent of government schools in the province have some form of safety or security .
Most of these schools are the former model C schools and it would appear that the school governing bodies raised the funds for such security measures installed at the schools.
Previously disadvantaged schools comprise only four percent of this 18percent of schools and the security systems in place were mainly due to interventions such as Hlayiseka: Be safe, a national campaign promoting school safety.
Jasper Zwane, the departmental spokesperson, said they were eager to fight school burglaries.