As the 2024 academic year kicks off, Chairperson of the Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Community Safey, Honourable Dr. Bandile Masuku, has pledged his Committee’s commitment to exercising proactive oversight on all role players in the education system for optimum safety at Gauteng schools.

In the recent years, teachers at different Gauteng schools have had to contend with sporadic incidents of crime, substance use and violence among learners. In other instances, adult intruders gained access into the schools, which threatened the safety of all on the premises given the perpetrators’ unknown intentions for entering the schools.

Hon. Masuku said, working collaboratively with relevant Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) departments, law enforcement agencies, communities, and other relevant role players, his Committee would oversee that all necessary measures are put in place to ensure the safety of teachers and learners at all school across the province.

He emphasized collaboration and active citizenry among different role players as key determinants for successful efforts at making school safety a success, as “no single party or entity has all the solutions”.

The committee is yet to present a Focus Intervention Study (FIS) report on the implementation of school safety regulations to the Provincial Legislature.

Meanwhile, Hon. Masuku thanked outgoing top cop, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela for his “outstanding service to the people of Gauteng during his tenure as Gauteng Police Commissioner”. Lt. Gen. Mawela has left his position as the province’s top cop, which he took-up at the beginning of 2019.

Acknowledging the amount of respect that Lt. Gen. Mawela had for the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) and the people of the province, Hon. Masuku said, “as the Committee we are saddened by the departure of a legend as he has gotten accustomed to being known. He served the citizens of South Africa by keeping us safe, and by preventing crime.

“Crime is a big challenge in our society, and the prevalent socioeconomic factors such as poverty and unemployment only perpetuate it.  We know that for as long as these factors remain, there is little we can do to eradicate crime in our society,” Hon. Masuku continued.

He thanked Lt. Gen. Mawela for “eternal lessons learned from him of how to serve the people with dedication, humility and resilience”.  

“When our world was seized with a deadly pandemic that claimed countless lives across the world, Lt. Gen. Mawela was besides us coming up with strategies to curb the spread of Coronavirus,” he said.

Quoting an unnamed poet from the apartheid struggle era, Hon. Masuku extended these words to Lt. Gen. Mawela: “Now is the time to give me roses, not to keep them for my grave to come. Give them to me while my heart beats, give them to me today while my heart yearns for jubilee. General Mawela, here are your roses,” Hon. Masuku continued.

He urged the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Gauteng to build on the foundation laid by their outgoing General to “intensify and improve the fight against crime”.


For interview requests with the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee please contact: Mr Thebe Khumalo on 072 266 1021 email: