SA schools plagued by poor sanitation

Photo: The France 24 Observers
Inadequate sanitation and lack of water supply are still major issues at many schools in South Africa, especially in rural areas.

According to a report by the Water Research Commission, it is concerning that over 6 700 education sites only hav the most basic of pit latrines, which are also not considered an adequate form of sanitation. The report indicates how poor sanitation at many schools in the country continue to violate the right of learners to safety, health and dignity.

This report comes just months after court cases against the Department of Basic Education regarding the death of a six year old, Michael Komape, who drowned in excrement in a pit latrine at a school in Limpopo made national headlines. The report also highlights that in many cases routine inspections are not conducted by the department officials, and principals are not held to account for the safety and health status of their school’s toilets.

Opposition parties in the North West have lambasted the provincial education department for the lack of proper sanitation at many schools in the province.  DA provincial spokesperson on Health and Education, Tutu Faleni, previously told OFM News that the situation at the Reoleboge Special School near Rustenburg compromises pupils’ personal hygiene and poses health risks for them. This, after they found that over 350 learners at this school had to make do with only three toilets, where two are shared among boys and another shared by the girls.

The provincial education department is yet to respond to OFM News’ enquires on the state of school’s sanitation and the provision of mobile sanitary toilets.

Katleho Morapela / OFM News