Thieves break in at Ditau primary, before school reopens

Burglars steal stationery

18 January 2024 - 07:00
By Jeanette Chabalala
Back to school : Patience Ramashiane SGB chairperson at Ditau Primary School says the school has no proper infrastruture.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE Back to school : Patience Ramashiane SGB chairperson at Ditau Primary School says the school has no proper infrastruture.

Just a day before school reopened, thieves burgled Ditau primary school in Orlando East, Soweto, and made off with stationery.

The school said it had no plans and nowhere to turn for assistance to replace the stationery. 

SGB chairperson Patience Ramashia said teachers had been complaining about safety at the school.  

“Our school is a Section 21 school [which is allocated finances by the department] and our learners don’t pay school fees. Some of their parents are unemployed, so even when we ask parents for donations for the school it doesn’t happen because the parents would complain about money.

“Right now, we don’t have stationery. The department gives us money for stationery but that has now been stolen. We don’t have a plan and we don’t have money, so we can’t replace what was stolen.

“The burglaries happen often and while we have a community policing forum in the area, there is nothing they can do because they are not armed. The burglaries look deliberate because after fixing one thing then thieves come [back] and steal from us.”

Ditau is among 29 schools across Gauteng  that the department of education in 2022  identified as unsafe schools because of asbestos.

However, the process of replacing asbestos roofing has been slow.

Ramashia said the school was demolished in December and pupils were being taught in mobile classrooms.

When Sowetan visited the school, there were mounds of rubble and debris.

“Our school was built using asbestos material [and] the school has now been demolished but the rubbles should not be here – this is not a conducive place for our kids. The teachers have also complained about mobile classes because when it rains, the roof leaks. 

Ramashia said the school was also facing challenges with electricity due to cable theft in the area which, she said, had made learning in mobile classrooms difficult.

“The mobile classes become very dark inside so [pupils] have challenges with seeing what is written on the chalkboard. Now when we don’t have electricity and it is raining then we can’t teach because the kids can’t see the chalkboard.”

She said some pupils at the school did not have school uniforms and shoes.

“We also have issues with undocumented children in our school, so those children don’t have grants, so where do we expect them to get the money?”

To assist the school with any of its needs please contact Ramashia on the school's landline.