WATCH: Principal showcases new toilet block at E Cape school
Pretoria - The Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) SAFE initiative aims to improve sanitation at some of the country’s poorest schools.
It is SAFE - or Sanitation Appropriate for Education - which must, through its intervention, prevent a repeat of tragedies such as Michael Komape’s death in a dilapidated pit toilet at his school.
Working in partnership with the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT), the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and other agencies, the department is working to provide safe sanitation including toilets and wash basins for all learners and, in the process, help to restore their dignity.
According to the DBE website there are currently 3 898 schools that require appropriate sanitation interventions and, in many of these cases an added challenge is there is not reticulated water available.
Another challenge is funding and while a portion of the cases of pit latrines are being dealt with using provincial Education budgets, to fast track the complete eradication of pit latrines in schools requires partnerships.
One of the department’s implementing agencies is the Department of Environmental Affairs tasked with 30 projects, one of which has recently been completed at the Xura View Primary School in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape.
In a video the proud principal Bongani Madolo of the school showcases the new toilet block and expresses his sincere thanks on behalf of the learners.
In the spirit of former President Nelson Mandela, President Ramaphosa implored the business community to partner with government through their Corporate Social Investment projects to speed up the eradication of pit latrines in schools.