Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga visiting a school. Photo: ANA File

PARLIAMENT - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Wednesday announced significant budget cuts for grants to build new schools and upgrade dilapidated facilities, saying the private sector may have to be roped in to help the sector.

Tabling her budget vote in Parliament, Motshekga said the Education Infrastructure Grant was cut by 1.3 percent to R9.9 billion, while the grant meant to deal with school infrastructure backlogs was cut by a "whopping" 43.5 percent to just R1.5 billion.

"The budget cuts, exacerbated by the fact that provincial education departments have since stopped to allocate funds for infrastructure delivery, will make it difficult to conform to the norms and standards for school infrastructure," she said.

"The current pressures on appropriate sanitation provisioning in our schools, will require innovative funding strategies, including generous contributions from the private sector and South Africans."

In March, a five-year-old pupil died after falling into a pit toilet at her school in the Eastern Cape. In 2014, a five year old boy also drowned in faeces after falling into a pit latrine in Limpopo.

African News Agency/ANA