Newsletter 202 - "Understand School Violence 6"


This group of articles is a summary of a web link by the “Western Cape Education Department (WCED). (24 May 2018). Safe Schools Programme. SaferSpaces”


South Africa has a robust policy framework dedicated to preventing and responding to school violence. The National School Safety Framework, in particular, is a comprehensive, clear, evidence-based framework on school safety. A major challenge, however, lies in the lack of monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of these school safety frameworks, policies and protocols. For example, while officially the National School Safety Framework has been rolled out in schools across the country, it is unclear: a) to what extent it has been implemented in public schools; and b) the impact it has had in the schools in which it has been implemented. Monitoring and evaluation of school safety policies and interventions are essential in determining what is effective and, consequently, where our energies and limited resources should be devoted. 

A further challenge is that there is a lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities in the school safety sector. This can result in overlapping mandates on the one hand and gaps in service provision, on the other. Consequently, the key stakeholders in the school safety sector should adopt a more coordinated and integrated approach to school safety, embedded in a broader social crime prevention strategy (CJCP, 2017b). This approach should be characterised by improved communication and collaboration, clearly defined mandates and effective accountability mechanisms.  

School violence is rife in South Africa. To effectively address this violence, it is essential that a ‘’whole of school approach’’ to school safety be adopted. Such an approach highlights the key role of school management, educators, learners and community members in combating violence and promoting safety in schools.

Safe schools are not only essential in ensuring the right of learners and educators to ‘’freedom from all forms of violence’’ and the right of learners to a basic education, but safe, well-functioning schools have a positive impact on the communities in which they are situated and the society more broadly. Safe schools can play an integral role in building a safer South Africa for all (NDP 2030, 2012). 

*A special thank-you to the following individuals for their inputs: Guy Lamb, UCT SaVI; Jessie Böhr, GIZ South Africa; Nazeem Sheik-Ismail,  Safe Schools Program, Western Cape Government; Jonas Schumacher, Masifunde Learner Development; and Shiralee Mcdonald and Zeenat Hendricks of Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust. 


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  36. National Education Policy, Act 27 of 1996.
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  40. Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust (RCCTT). (17 May 2017). Birds and the Bees peer-education programme: challenging harmful norms around sexual violence. SaferSpaces. Available:
  41. Regan Jules-Macquet. (3 December 2017). Umhlali - Building safer communities through youth resilience. SaferSpaces. Available:
  42. Regulations for Safety Measures at Public Schools, Regulation 1128 of 2006.
  43. Republic of South Africa (RSA). (7 August 2013). The DBE and SAPS celebrate the symbolic signing and launch of the partnership protocol agreement. Available:
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  45. South African Schools, Act 84 of 1996.
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  47. South African Council for Educators, Act 31 of 2000 (as ammended).
  48. Shaw, M. (2005). ‘’Chapter 10: Comprehensive Approches to School Safety and Security - An International View,” in School Safety and Security: Lessons in Danger. OECD Publishing, pp. 91–107.
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  51. Western Cape Government (WCG). (2018). After School Game Changer. Western Cape Government. Available:
  52. Western Cape Government (WCG). (2016a). ‘’Making our schools safe for every learner’’. Western Cape Government. Available:
  53. Western Cape Government (WCG). (2016b). “MEDIA ALERT: Minister Plato to launch Strand Walking Bus initiative”, 17-Oct-2016. Available:
  54. Western Cape Government After-School Game Changer (WC ASGC). (26 November 2017). After-School Game Changer Programme. SaferSpaces. Available:
  55. Western Cape Government Department of Community Safety (WC DOCS). (10 February 2017). Report  on  the  Expert  Workshop on National  Anti-Gangsterism Strategy, held  on  2  December 2016 at    Chrysalis Academy, Tokai. Available:
  56. Western Cape Education Department (WCED). (24 May 2018). Safe Schools Programme. SaferSpaces. Available:

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