Pit toilets

JOHANNESBURG - Social lobby Education for Social Justice Foundation said on Monday South Africa's government, and not private companies, should handle the removal of archaic pit toilets in South African public schools.

The department of education has come under renewed fire after a school child recently fell into a pit toilet and died, rekindling anger that some of South Africa's poorest schools still use such facilities more than 24 years after the end of the apartheid system which discriminated against blacks.

"The Education for Social Justice Foundation (ESJF) notes government’s preparedness to eradicate pit toilets across the country’s schools in light of the recent challenges that led to the death of learners in some of the schools," the rights groups said.

"We call on government to make use of the public works department instead of private companies in order to save costs which can be used to fund other projects necessary for the advancement of our people."

It said using the government department for the project would save R2 billion in Limpopo province alone, which is home to some of the country's poorest schools.

The ESJF said the government should also come up with a turnaround strategy to ensure that public schools were able to meet minimum standards when compared with private ones. 

African News Agency/ANA