Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi announced that 38 schools in the province have reported Covid-19 cases.
Lesufi was updating the media in Midrand on the first day of the reopening of schools on Monday afternoon.
He also said 39 pupils and teachers have tested positive.
“Today only, we received 38 new cases that demand investigations. The 38 new cases that demand investigation is in the process of tracing those that were in contact with those that have tested positive,” he said.
Lesufi also told reporters the province recorded an 85% attendance of pupils and educators on the first day of the reopening of schools.
He added that nine schools did not open, due to infrastructural issues, which the department is currently addressing.
On the issue of screening, Lesufi said: “Though we had successfully recruited Covid brigades, many of them are in the process of being deployed to schools. It’s important to clarify that the brigades are an additional resource to the school but that other personnel have been assigned to deal with screening and other issues.
“Any issues at our schools which in any way would impact on the safety of our staff and learners are being managed,” he said.
Lesufi also said there were several incidents of break-ins and vandalism over the weekend.
He said, although schools received personal protective equipment (PPE), some schools claimed there were shortages.
“We received reports early hours of this morning [Monday], a school in Orange Farm where criminals broke in with an intention of stealing PPEs meant for learners. The community alerted the police and the police arrested these criminals immediately and all the PPEs that were stolen were recovered,” Lesufi said.
Meanwhile, Iphutheng Primary School in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, earlier on Monday recorded a smooth reopening for its 157 Grade 7 pupils.
The school has a total of 200 pupils in Grade 7.
While there were no health and safety concerns, the school’s management said it was awaiting a delivery of masks for learners expected to arrive on Tuesday.
Pupils should have two masks each, but are only in possession of one mask until the delivery is fulfilled.
However, while the school has played its part, News24 noticed that when some pupils left the school gates at the end of the school day, they took their masks off and proceeded to walk home in little groups.