Deputy President David Mabuza says a multi-stakeholder breakfast on sanitation infrastructure for schools has raised R195 million in commitments and pledges.
The Deputy President said this when fielding questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Thursday.
He said the funds were raised as part of the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative, which was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in August.
The initiative is a collaboration between the public and private sector aimed at eradicating pit latrines at schools across the country.
“The funds that are going to be donated by the private sector will be administered by the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) as the fund holder and they will make it a point that they are being utilised correctly.
“During that breakfast, we got R145 million in commitments that day… A further R50 million was made in pledges. So all in all, we were able to raise R195 million.
“This R195 million will go to approximately 4 000 sanitation infrastructure [projects], which are going to be distributed all over the country,” he said.
The breakfast was held on 14 August as part of the Presidency’s support to the Department of Basic Education (DBE).
The aim of the launch, Mabuza said, was to invite the private sector and South Africans in general to pledge financial resources and other technical support in alleviating the problem of inappropriate sanitation in schools, particularly pit latrines.
The DBE was advised to develop a plan informed by the audit of the current state of sanitation in schools across the country.
“The Presidency will monitor and provide support throughout the implementation of the plan. In addition to the above support, we will continue to solicit more support from the private sector to enhance collaboration.
“I will engage other departments that have a role in the provision of sanitation such as Water and Sanitation, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) and Environmental Affairs, as well as the local spheres of government, to play their part.
“We implore communities to support the SAFE initiative and discourage those that are disrupting construction programmes on site once they have started,” Mabuza said.
The Deputy President said in rolling out sanitation infrastructure, government will start with the schools that don’t have any ablution facilities.
“In the country as a whole, we have 37 schools that are without ablution facilities. We have 8 702 schools that are still using pit latrines. We have 7 433 schools that are using ventilated improved pit latrines, and we have 92 schools that use chemical toilets,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za