Gauteng schools have had 775 gadgets given to it by the Department of Education stolen since 2014.

This was revealed by MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi who said 412 incidents of theft and vandalism and break-ins at schools across the province have been reported since he became MEC.

Of these incidents, 281 computers, 404 tablets and 90 laptops have been stolen.

The Johannesburg Central district experienced the highest number of incidents, accounting for a quarter of the total figure at 127.

“Although the MEC has indicated that these instances have been reported to the SAPS, the department has no records of insurance taken out in the event that theft and vandalism takes place – stating that this is the competency of individual schools,” said Khume Ramulifho, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education.

“MEC Lesufi must ensure that ICT devices are fitted with tracking and security software to ensure that they are retrievable in the event that they are stolen, and that these items are better stored to prevent their theft in the first place,” Ramulifho said.

“Given that the department went to great lengths to equip schools with this infrastructure, it is quite alarming that it appears to be so lax when it comes to retrieving stolen goods and keeping an eye on school insurance policies.”