Someone stole the entire school building in South Africa. Every single piece of it – from the bricks to the plumbing – was stolen, making this a somewhat unique crime.
People stole bricks—and the school’s foundation—from Uitzig Secondary School over a six-month period.
As the school began to close, thieves could easily go in and steal anything they wanted.
Heralding the end of a longstanding crime, it seems that thieves decided to take the building materials with them.
By Jamie Pyatt in Cape Town for dailymail
PUBLISHED: 12:00 GMT, 1 November 2022 | UPDATED: 13:19 GMT, 1 November 2022
Uitzig Nort Secondary School in Cape Town used to be a grand institution, back when it was a secondary school. It had five classroom blocks and two toilet areas and an assembly point for its entire student body.
And when the local education authority shut the gates on the school and moved all 100 pupils to nearby schools, opportunistic criminals took advantage of the situation.
The renovated and modernised office had a colorful and vibrant feel. Within just six months, every brick, window and roof tile, along with the plumbing, electrics and blackboards had been stripped away.
Even before the school closed down, a Google Earth photo showed that Uitzig Secondary was easily accessible and fully intact. It served the local community, even before it closed.
A Google satellite image shows the dramatic transformation of Uitzig Secondary School after thieves stripped it for construction materials.
Cape Town thieves have been going crazy in recent years since Uitzig Secondary School closed its doors. The school was brick-by-brick stolen and is now a pile of rubble.
The red brick and tile school was demolished to make way for new development. Only the concrete building and rooms remain, as if the school had vanished from that day onward.
A former school caretaker who wished to remain anonymous because they’re afraid of gang reprisals said: “It was a good school but over the years drug gangs took over the area.
The school became overworked, the head teacher got stressed, and there was constantly someone vandalizing the site and making their life difficult. It ultimately caused too much stress with other parents, resulting in them asking for change or closure altogether.
For every artifact that was removed from a building, people gave them 50 cents (2.5 pence) worth of bricks or £5 for the window.
‘That’s an odd description of the city,’ he conceded. ‘There was nothing left but concrete and empty buildings, derelict and dangerous.’
When Uitzig Secondary School in Cape Town, South Africa closed its doors for good, thieves found themselves with an incidence of opportunity. They successfully strip-stealed the school and stole every cylinder from their walls.
When google earth is done comparing photographs of a school taken years apart, the secret that’s been buried for decades is revealed.
The former pupil of closed education center confirmed that the place had been totally stripped to its foundation and everything inside once it was closed.
She said, ‘My sporting memorabilia was everywhere — on the walls, inside the walls and even the bricks. There’s nothing left of my old home.’
Once upon a time, there was a school. Drugs took over the school, and it became a drug den. One day, John Isaacs walked past the school. He saw that it had been broken into and was a haven for drugs. So now they don’t know who stole it, but they do know drugs destroyed it
‘As the years went on, they took the school’s materials with them to gain money to get a high’.
After Manenberg, the rise in houses being demolished is a sign that people are still looking for housing in the area.
After a builder stole materials from his job site, he said that “they don’t see the goods as stolen but as a necessity to build homes.”
Bronagh Hammond is the Western Cape’s Education Department spokesman. She confirmed that the school was doomed due to ‘gangsterism and vandalism.’
She stated that they had provided security guards and barbed wire, but gangs and vandals would still come in and threaten the teachers even the security guards.
We were spending so much money replacing equipment and fixing broken pieces that we weren’t able to keep Uitzig going. The business became too expensive and took up too many resources from our other schools. It was just a waste of money.
‘The poor conditions of the infrastructure were a big problem for the pupils and teachers, causing extra work for them to do.’
After the school shut its gates and with security left behind, the community members came in and took everything in its path.
Schools in South Africa are being attacked with a frightening frequency. This is the problem of arson and vandalism escalating to near-epic proportions.