PICS: Several KZN schools inspected after water and sanitation issues raised

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Jun 11, 2020

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Durban - Several schools in Nongoma that were inspected by KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu this week reported water and sanitation problems.

At least five schools, including primary schools, were without water and their pit latrines were overflowing.

Thousands of grade 7 and 12 pupils returned to schools on Monday following a two-month break due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Mshengu visited Nsimbini Secondary School and the King Bhekuzulu High School in Nongoma.

Councillors exposed problems in schools they had visited a few kilometres from where Mshengu was. IFP councillor Philile Nhleko said she had visited four schools on Tuesday and found three in a terrible state.

“Of the four schools, only Dinuzulu has tolerable conditions, largely because it has been renovated.

“I visited Nqabayembube High School and found that their toilets are full and they have no water.

“Tokotoko High School was vandalised and still has no windows. At Gibindlala Primary, the situation was shocking and the toilets are not fit for human use. They need to be emptied as they are overflowing.

“In one school, the principal said they were short of sanitisers and other protective equipment, while some of the schools are in such a dilapidated state that it’s difficult to even clean them,” she said.

She said despite the poor conditions, the attendance had been good.

“We have big schools that accommodate pupils from different areas and we’re concerned about the spread of the disease.”

Another IFP councillor, Bongani Ntombela, said most of the schools were ready to accept pupils.

“I visited Denge and Lindizwe and Celimpilo schools, and while they have not reached 100%, all the necessities, including the personal protective equipment is there.

“However, they face water shortages and the toilets are in a bad state, new pit latrines need to be dug,” he said.

Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the department knew which schools had water and sanitation challenges, and these were being addressed.

“Councillors are the last people who can speak out on water problems, considering that the communities they represent, they too are without water,” he said.

The National Teachers Union said they would be writing to the Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga as the report she gave out did not match what was on the ground.

“Many pupils arrived at schools to find that their schools were non-compliant, these pupils had nowhere to go but return home,” he said.

SA Democratic Teachers Union provincial secretary, Nomarashiya Caluza, said she was still finding problems at several schools across the province.

“I just came from a school in Chatsworth where toilets are messy and pupils have only one mask delivered by the department,” she said.

The Mercury

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