“If children, including primary schoolchildren, are engaging in games wherein the boys run after girls and pretend to rape them, as reported, this reflects a serious problem with our society,” she said.
“The fact that primary schoolchildren even know what rape is and how it is done is tragic.”
She said the department had launched a full investigation into the “rape, rape” game, and district officials would visit schools this week to speak to principals.
An urgent briefing would be called when the investigation was complete.
The Cape Times reported on Monday that principals and parents in Mitchells Plain had raised the alarm about the new game.
A Mitchells Plain principal, who asked not to be named, told the newspaper that girls as young as 10 were given a chance to run before the boys chased after them.
He said that when a girl was caught, a boy would pin her down and simulate rape for up to 20 seconds.
Once “raped”, she would be out of the game. The game continued until all girls had been “raped”.
Schäfer said the department had not received any reports from the public or schools about the game.
“We will do whatever we can to educate our learners that this kind of behaviour is just not on,” she said.
“We also appeal to parents and religious institutions to educate children at home and after school about the differences between right and wrong.
“This kind of alleged behaviour does not exist in a vacuum.”