R100 million government school robbed less than a week after opening

 ·16 Jan 2019

The state of the art Menzi Primary school has been robbed less than a week after the Gauteng Department of Education officially opened it.

The Gauteng Department of Education said it learned about the break-in at Menzi Primary School in the early hours of Tuesday, 15 January 2019.

“Menzi Primary School, a multi-million rand state-of-the-art mega township school, was recently handed over to the community of Tsakane on the first day of school, Wednesday, 9 January 2019.

“It is alleged that two patrollers were tied up and locked in one of the strong rooms. The criminals broke the main vault door to access the keys for the entire school – all the other vaults were opened with those keys. Some of the keys were left behind, but the school is still checking if there are any other keys missing,” the department said.

The main areas broken into are the administration block and IT offices where the tablets are charged.

There is evidence of forced entry on the doors of all the areas the criminals went into.

The following resources were stolen:

  • All 185 learner tablets;
  • 8 teacher laptops;
  • 2 data projectors;
  • 3 desktop computers;
  • Plasma TV;
  • Petty cash of less than R500;
  • Digital Video Recorder (DVR) for cameras (plus hard drive).

“It is sad to say currently the grade 7 learners do not have any textbooks as their e-books are gone with the tablets,” the department said.

“These are educational facilities, aimed at enhancing the quality of education, and life of children in the township. We are extremely disappointed that criminals can disrupt the education of learners in this community.

“However, we challenge members of the community to assist and hunt the robbers, by Friday, 18 January 2019, failing which, we will have no choice but withdraw all expensive equipment from the school,” said MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

As previously reported by BusinessTech, Menzi Primary is aimed at preparing students for the ‘fourth industrial revolution’.

The green technology school – which is in the heart of Langaville in Tsakane township in Ekurhuleni – boasts facilities such as 33 smart classrooms, a Grade R block with five classrooms, two smart science labs, two smart multi-purpose rooms, a library and dining hall.

With a price tag of R105,508,403, Lesufi urged parents and community members to protect the newly constructed mega school infrastructure at its opening.

“I am pleading with you to protect these schools. If you see someone vandalising these schools, report them to the police,” said Lesufi.

In protecting the schools, Lesufi said the community would ensure that the learners of Menzi Primary school have a shot at competing in the imminent fourth industrial revolution.

“These learners are part of the generation that will attend schools of specialisation.

“They will participate in the fourth industrial revolution,” he said.

Read: A look inside a new R100 million government school

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