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Department of Basic Education plans to eradicate pit latrine toilets within 2022/23 financial year

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga says the plan to is to eradicate pit latrine toilets within the 2022/23 financial year. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga says the plan to is to eradicate pit latrine toilets within the 2022/23 financial year. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Published May 23, 2022

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The Department of Basic Education plans to eradicate pit-latrine toilets during the 2022/2023 financial year, through its Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative, says Minister Angie Motshekga.

Motshekga was responding to a Parliamentary question post by the Economic Freedom Fighters' Mathibe Mohlala.

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Mohlala noted the snail-pace progress in eradicating pit latrine toilets in schools.

According to the DBE, the primary objective of the SAFE initiative is to replace basic pit toilets with appropriate sanitation, in accordance with the norms and standards for school infrastructure.

"The number of toilet seats to be provided is determined by the learner enrolment. Such number of seats must include age-appropriate facilities in primary schools, as well as facilities for the disabled in all schools," the DBE said.

Motshekga said the provincial departments had identified 3 898 schools at the start of the SAFE initiative. The minister said there were 2 814 schools on the SAFE programme and the upgrading of sanitation had been completed at 1 564 schools.

The department said it has spent more than R300 million in the past three years to eradicate pit toilets at schools.

Through the SAFE initiative, the DBE has identified more than 2 700 schools across the country and fewer than 1 000 have been partially completed.

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Earlier this month, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) was tasked with providing an action plan to eradicate the bucket system by the end of March 2023.

MP Grace Tseke suggested that DWS engage and support the DBE in developing a strategy to eradicate pit latrines and bucket systems in public schools.

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