The Department of Basic Education has released updates on the progress made to replace pit toilets at schools nationally. Filed Photo.
The Department of Basic Education has released updates on the progress made to replace pit toilets at schools nationally. Filed Photo.

Basic Education Department says its making strides to get rid of pit toilets despite Limpopo court battle

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Aug 6, 2021

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While the Limpopo Education Department is facing a court battle over its failure to replace pit toilets at schools, the national educational department said it was making strides in its efforts to get rid of pit toilets through its Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative.

On Friday, August 6, Section27 and Equal Education will be approaching the High Court Limpopo division to appoint a special master – an independent person, who is normally appointed by a judge to assist the court by making sure that what the court orders is actually implemented.

This is after the provincial education department responded to a 2018 court order, saying it would only be able to get rid of all pit toilets at schools by 2031.

The national Department of Basic Education (DBE) on Thursday said the original number of schools recorded nationally of having pit toilets in 2018 was 3 898.

However, that number decreased to 2 753 following site assessments.

According to the DBE, about 989 schools are addressed under the SAFE programme.

  • 130 of those schools are covered through donation and partnership funding, 69 of those have already had their toilets replaced.
  • 66 other schools are covered under the ASIDI programme and have been completed.
  • 793 are covered by the provincial education departments and 384 projects have been completed.

The DBE said 1 026 schools have been allocated to implementing agents.

  • 392 schools have been allocated to the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Of that number 189 have been completed.
  • 659 are being handled by the National Education Collaboration Trust and only 12 have been completed.
  • The Mvula Trust is handling 632 schools and 183 projects have been completed.
  • The Coega Development will be handling 81 school projects.

Provincial updates:

  • Eastern Cape : 1 098 schools recorded with pit toilets and 178 have been replaced.
  • Free State: 122 schools recorded with pit toilets and 75 have been replaced.
  • KwaZulu Natal: 974 schools recorded with pit toilets and 379have been replaced
  • Limpopo: 387 schools recorded with pit toilets and 118 have been replaced.
  • Mpumalanga: 117 schools recorded with pit toilets and 116 have been replaced.
  • North West: 55 schools recorded with pit toilets and 37 have been replaced.

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