Urgent meeting to discuss eradication of pit toilets

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and officials from the provincial education departments will meet this morning to map the way forward with regards to pit toilets at schools.

“The Minister will convene an urgent meeting with MECs and their Heads of Department to discuss school infrastructure and find ways of accelerating the eradication of unsafe ablution facilities in particular,” said the Basic Education Department.

The Minister’s meeting with officials follows instructions from President Cyril Ramaphosa who wants an audit report on the state of sanitation in schools.

“The meeting is intended to enable the Minister to ensure that the sector responds to the President’s directives of providing him with an audit of sanitation facilities in schools within three months and thereafter a comprehensive plan to address shortcomings identified in the audit,” said the Basic Education Department.

The President issued these directives to the department after five year-old pupil Lumka Mkhethwa, also known as Viwe Jali, last week fell into a pit toilet at Luna Primary School in the Eastern Cape and died.

Three years ago another child, Michael Komape, tragically died under similar circumstances at a school in Limpopo.

The Minister said although the department has in the past put temporary interventions in place, more needs to be done.

“We have seen provincial competencies being addressed at a national level as a temporary intervention with programmes like the Accelerated School Infrastructure Initiative (ASIDI). This may be an option that needs to be explored further to address the directive given by the President,” said Minister Motshekga.

The department said it will begin an audit of sanitation facilities at schools within a month.

Once the audit is completed the department will develop an emergency plan which will be sent to the President and National Treasury for consideration. – SAnews.gov.za


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