Relief as EL school jacks up security

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The school governing body (SGB) at Parkside Primary School say they can finally breathe a sigh of relief, thanks to the “vandal proof” fence being installed at the school.

NEW SAFETY MEASURES: Parkside Primary School SGB chairman Thanduxolo Faku says the ‘vandal proof’ fence being installed at the school will keep criminals at bayPicture: SIBONGILE NGALWA

The school had been plagued by a series of break-ins and vandalism incidents over the years.

The school was hardest hit during the December holidays when thieves vandalised classrooms on at least four occasions.

The damage was so severe that the school had to delay opening at the beginning of the academic year, sending home the more than 1000 pupils enrolled at the school.

During a visit recently the Dispatch found construction workers hard at work installing the 700m fence around the school perimeter.

When giving a description of the tensile wire fence, the technical officer on site, Pitso Matabela, said a thief would have to be a “MacGyver” (fictional “quick-fix” hero) to be able to gain access from the outside.

“This fence is not accessible from the outside, you cannot climb over it because you will not have a grip due to the pattern and shape of the wire and the slippery paint it’s coated with. The top rail has spikes and the fence is under-dug, making it hard to climb over or dig under. It is also durable and cannot be cut.

“The big gate can only be unlocked from the inside after gaining entrance through the small gate,” said Matabela.

The school is one of the hundreds of schools in the province to be provided with these security fences.

Delivering his policy and budget speech earlier last month, the MEC for the department of education, Mandla Makupula said they started installing the “vandal proof” fencing to address the security challenges at schools.

A total of 504 schools were identified to benefit from the project.

The SGB spokesman, Thanduxolo Faku, said what excites him most was that the fence was see-through unlike the cement slab fence they previously had.

“The community will now be able to see what is happening at the school,” said Faku.

Faku said they have also hired three security guards, two to guard the school at night and one guard during the day.

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