School sanitation backlog headache as Treasury slashes school infrastructure budget

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Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has slashed the school infrastructure budget and this will affect hundreds of schools in urgent need of toilets and proper classrooms in the country.

Limpopo and the Eastern Cape have a huge infrastructure backlog.

Video: Concern is raised over the state of Eastern Cape schools’ toilets. 

Limpopo has a sanitation backlog at over 200 schools. Primary school learners are especially vulnerable.

Schools around Mashashane are the most affected, many with dilapidated toilets.

Moreleba-Kganyago primary enrolls about 300 learners and they use these toilets built by the community two decades ago.

SGB member Dinah Kgopa says parents’ calls for a remedy for the situation have fallen on deaf government ears.

“The toilets are old and dilapidated. I don’t even remember when they were built. The pit toilets are a hazard because the children can’t even sit properly on the seats. They also don’t have doors. We are requesting the government to build us proper and safer toilets to prevent another tragedy of a child fall into a toilet.”

A similar situation at Utjane Primary School – dilapidated and a health risk. Little children are supervised by teachers.

SGB member Matsemela Legodi says they were promised new flush toilets by government.

“Their response is that they will come and make the new toilets, flushing toilets, but they didn’t come. Till now, we are afraid of the kids because they can fall into the toilet. What are we going to do, nothing we can do. We just wait for the department to come and fix the toilets.”

In January 2014, 6-year-old Michael Komape died after falling into a pit toilet at school.

In the video below, lobby group Section 27 says Michael Komape’s death could have been avoided if school infrastructure was maintained. 

Limpopo Basic Education Department says the backlog will be eradicated in the coming financial year.

In the video below, schools are left vulnerable following Tito Mboweni’s school infrastructure budget cuts. 

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