Wire theft leaves school out of pocket

Principal Lameez Rabbaney shows where the admin blocks PVC pipes and electrical cabling were ripped out of the ground next to the admin block.

Criminals targeted Prince George Primary School in Lavender Hill last Thursday, August 18, ripping out electrical cabling and PVC pipes between the main gate and the administration block, at around 4am.

The incident temporarily shut down the school’s computer system.

“According to an anonymous witness, there were two people on the premises of the school on the night of the incident. This has affected our internet and resulted in unnecessary expenses”, said principal Lameez Rabbaney. “Parents have limited finances and we are a fees school of R400 per annum, which tells you that we do not have enough money. The costs for these damages could cost the school up to R10 000,” said Ms Rabbaney.

She said to make matters worse, the money they have had to spend after this incident was earmarked for another project at the school.

Now they had to buy locks for the gate and pay for IT services to restore their computer network.

She said the school has been targeted before and electrical wiring had also been cut in 2014.

“As a result of the incident we did not have lights on the north side of the school for two years,” said Ms Rabbaney, who also said that a lot of money had been spent to build a fence around the school to minimise vandalism.

She said the vandals have taken advantage of the fact that there are still no lights on the northern side of the school, where there is a netball field and the gate. “If there were lights on the northern side of this school, BP garage which is opposite the school could have seen any, people vandalising our school, said Ms Rabbaney.

Warrant Officer John Bartlett from Steenberg police confirmed the incident last Thursday.

He said the school’s caretaker had found that about 70 metres of electrical cable as well as 70 metres of white PVC pipes had been stolen.

Warrant Officer Bartlett further said the estimated value of the stolen property is about R5 500. Police are investigating a case of theft.