Section27 will be continuing its legal battle against the Limpopo provincial and national education department over the safety of toilets in schools. Filed Photo
Section27 will be continuing its legal battle against the Limpopo provincial and national education department over the safety of toilets in schools. Filed Photo

Limpopo pit toilet court battle set to continue, say Section27

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published May 20, 2021

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The fight for safe, dignified and sanitary school toilets in Limpopo will continue at the Polokwane High Court on Monday.

Section27 advocates Nikki Stein and Thabang Pooe will be submitting their heads of arguments.

The organisation’s standing is that “plans” made to eradicate pit toilets at schools in the province, are not good enough.

“We are going back to court to fight for the implementation of the structural order which was handed down in the Rosina Komape and Others v. Department of Basic Education and Others case.

“The court had ordered in 2018 that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Limpopo Department of Education (LDOE) must file plans to eradicate pit toilets and provide the court with an updated audit of sanitation needs at schools in the province,” the organisation said in a statement.

Section27 argues that the department’s plans are not reasonable in terms of the law. The organisation also rejects the department’s claims that pit toilets can only be eradicated from all Limpopo schools by the end of 2030.

“We are calling for the court to rule the DBE and LDOE’s ’plan’ for the abolishing of pit toilets as unconstitutional. We are requesting that the court order the education authorities file a new, consolidated plan with the court, about how they will urgently replace all pit toilets at schools in the province and replace them with appropriate sanitation.

“We are also calling for better oversight and monitoring of delivery,” said Section27.

The six-year legal battle between Section2, the Limpopo Department of Education and the Department of Basic Education for the eradication of the pit toilets stems from the death of a pupil Michael Komape.

He lost his life when he fell into a pit toilet.

Following Komape’s death, the court ordered that the departments supply each school in Limpopo with safe toilets.

They also had to conduct a comprehensive audit of sanitation needs – detailing the names and locations of all schools with pit toilets in the province – and provide a comprehensive plan for the installation of new toilets.

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