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Pit toilets not safe for leaners

More than 3500 “deadly” pit toilets still utilised in rural schools

Democratic Alliance (DA) says the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has revealed in Parliament there are still 3 532 pit toilets at schools across the country.

In a statement on Tuesday, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Basic Education Nomsa Marchesi portrayed the circumstance as horrifying, saying, children are subjected to pit toilets, which put their lives in danger even 24 years of democracy.

“It was confirmed to the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education that there are 3 532 pit toilets at schools across the country. The DBE assessed that it will cost about R7.8 billion to address the sanitation build-up at all schools,” said Marchesi.

Shockingly said Marchesi the budget for school infrastructure has been cut by R3.6 billion – when this amount could have addressed a large portion of this need.

She alerts that pit toilets are not just hazardous to the health of learners, they can also be deadly.

“The deaths of Michael Komape and Lumka Mketwa could have been avoided if they had access to decent sanitation,” said Marchesi.

In the meantime, the DA has welcomed the instruction by the High Court in Limpopo on Tuesday that the province’s education department present a plan on providing safe toilets in rural schools in Limpopo by July 30, 2018.

South Africans can even now co-sign our letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, calling for an earnest interdepartmental response to hazardous schools at https://protectourchildren.co.za

Marchesi guaranteed that DA will visit schools across the country that still utilise these hazardous pit toilets and see can be done to ensure that no leaner ever must be hesitant to utilise a pit latrine.

“The safety of our learners must be of the highest priority. If the national government cannot get something as basic as delivering safe and secure toilets right, then we still have a long way to go in attaining safe schools,” added Marchesi

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