School crippled by theft, vandalism

Geyser fittings were stolen from Hout Bay Primary School’s kitchen during a break-in during the December school holidays. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Hout Bay Primary School in Imizamo Yethu has been left without hot water and is appealing for help with repairs following a break-in over the December holidays.

“The break-in took place on Christmas Day last year. We suspect that it was two men who broke into our school. They gained access by breaking in the kitchen front door,” said principal Nobuntu Mayekiso.

“They took all our kitchen utensils, like knives, and our urn. We also found that the wiring was removed resulting in a loss of electricity to six classrooms and two ablution blocks. They also cut the electric wires in our admin block.”

Seven wheelie bins, all copper tubing, geyser fittings in the kitchen, a 19kg gas tank and two large cooking pots were also taken.

“As they stole the urn, it’s become even more challenging to cook for the learners because we only have one gas tank, which can only cook for a week,” said Ms Mayekiso.

This is not the school’s first break-in. In September last year, wires were cut and a urinal and aluminium doors and window frames were stolen.

Electricity has now been restored to the school’s classrooms, but there is none in the ablution blocks.

“The biggest problem leading to the constant vandalism is that our fencing at the back of our school has been stolen since last year. So it’s easy for the perpetrators to gain access to the school. It’s really stressful. We’ve sent emails to the education department about our fencing issues, but they told us it’s too expensive,” said Ms Mayekiso.

“Vandalism is rife at our school, and we only have night-shift security. However, the break-in took place during the day. We really need assistance with cameras to monitor our school so we can know for sure who the suspects are.”

Hout Bay police confirmed that they are investigating the break-in.

The Western Cape Education Department did not respond to questions by deadline.

If you would like to help the school, contact Ms Mayekiso at 071 900 9071.

The school’s ablution blocks remain without power following the break-in.