Fifty-Five schools still uses pit toilets in N Cape

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The Northern Cape Department of Education has come under fire from parents at the Makhubung Primary School in Heuningvlei for its slow pace in doing away with pit latrines at the school.

Parents have expressed anger towards the department for exposing their children to danger on a daily basis.

As many as 55 schools around the Northern Cape have been using pit latrines.

Department spokesperson Geoffrey Van Der Merwe says eradication of pit toilets is their priority for the 2018/2019 financial year.

“We are fully aware that the use of these pit toilets poses a risk in terms of their health and safety. We have tried through various means to address the water challenges that are problematic in the area and directly affect the use of ablution facilities. We have prioritised the construction of ablution facilities for these schools respectively for this financial year,” says Van Der Merwe.

Equal Education says the department is going against the Norms and Standards which stated that pit latrines should be eradicated by November 2013.

Equal Education Parliamentary Officer, Sibabalwe Gcilitshana says, “The norms clearly state that infrastructure should have been dealt with by the 29th of November 2013. The date has since lapsed and every single day that a child in this country continue to use a pit latrine is not only illegal but it is a direct danger to their lives and the question is how many learners is it going to take before the department takes actual action.”