Motshekga commits to eradicating pit latrines in schools by early 2022

Motshekga commits to eradicating pit latrines in schools by early 2022

- The Basic Education Department has now set a deadline to totally eradicate pit toilets in South Africa

- Minister Angie Motshekga has committed to this plan in a written response to a parliamentary question

- The plan is to replace the dangerous systems at identified schools by early 2022

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The Basic Education Department has set itself a deadline to completely eradicate pit toilets in schools.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has responded to a written question in Parliament, confirming plans to remove the dependency on pit toilets at the identified schools by early 2022.

The most recent statistics revealed that there are nearly 4 000 schools still making use of these toilets:

“The SAFE programme (Sanitation Appropriate For Education) was launched to address the sanitation at 3 898 schools that reportedly were still dependent on basic pit toilets. Of these 3 898 schools, 427 have now been closed (mostly due to rationalisation)."
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Motshekga has committed to eradicating pit latrines by March 2022. Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Source: Getty Images

Motshekga further commented that over 700 have been assessed and the sanitation facilities have been dubbed of 'an appropriate standard':

“The remaining 2 746 schools require intervention to eradicate the dependency on basic pit toilets."

The data revealed that the majority of these schools were situated in KwaZulu-Nata (1 168) and the Eastern Cape (997). Limpopo had the highest number amongst the inland regions (298), the Free State has 123 and Mpumalanga has 106 while the North West has 55.

The DA-led Western Cape province has no pit latrines in schools with Gauteng also manage to eradicate the issue.

Earlier, reported that the Basic Education Department had announced that it will take a minimum of two more years to eradicate pit toilets in South African schools earlier this year.

Storms in KwaZulu-Natal served as a major hurdle to this endeavour, by doing immense damage to existing infrastructure.

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Director-General Mathanzima Mweli commented in the long road ahead to see the end of pit latrines:

"What compounds our problem is that during the festive season the storms that we had destroyed many schools in KZN. Over a thousand schools were damaged in Ixopo."

The official says that the state has allocated funds for three years to ensure schools have acceptable ablution facilities.

"By the financial year of 2021/2022, we should have eradicated all pit latrines."

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