Department earmarks school pit toilets for demolition | Infrastructure news

Education departments from around the country are calling for the demolition of pit toilets in schools where sanitation facilities have already been provided.

The decision was taken at an urgent Council of Education Ministers (CEM) meeting held recently after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s issued a directive for department’s to provide him with an audit of sanitation facilities in schools within three months and thereafter a comprehensive plan to address shortcomings identified in the audit.

Ramaphosa’s directive was issued in response to the death of a five-year-old Viwe Jali who died after falling into a pit toilet at the Luna Primary School in Bizana, Eastern Cape.

In addition minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga noted that schools without any sanitation must be addressed as a matter of urgency. She added that department’s should also prioritise the provision of age appropriate [toilet] seats for Grade R learners in all schools.

“Schools with inadequate or insufficient sanitation will be addressed as a matter of urgency. School toilets will be adequately maintained and all unsafe and unhygienic sanitation and ablution facilities will be attended to,” Motshekga said.

“We will not only give him an audited report but will give him a comprehensive costed plan,” she added.

The minister said the department does have some of the information on the outstanding sanitation in the system, but that it still needs to be verified.

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