1 toilet, 1 000 learners

2013-02-15 08:49

Section 27 is again threatening to drag the department of basic education to court – this time to get authorities to provide 111 Limpopo schools with proper sanitation facilities.

The advocacy group said it had an agreement with the department that by the end of January 2013, officials would have produced a plan on how they would address sanitation issues in schools.

Speaking at a media briefing in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, today Section 27’s researcher, Nthabiseng Pooe, said: “There are actually more than 4 000 schools without proper sanitation in Limpopo. The 111 are priority because things are bad there.

“They were supposed to give us the plan by the end of January, but they haven’t. We are engaging positively with them, but if we don’t get the plan from them, we will have no option but to litigate.”

Pooe, who visited schools in Limpopo, said teachers and learners in some schools have to rush to the bush during break to relieve themselves. She played a slideshow of gory pictures of kids relieving themselves in open toilets.

Some schools had dug open holes which kids used as toilets. In other schools pit latrines had been filled to the brim, with faeces covering toilet seats.

Solanga Milambo, a Section 27 activist in Giyani said: “The situation is not good. All these (instances) are just an indication of what is happening in Limpopo. School Governing Bodies are tired of writing letters to the department. You find schools with more than 1 000 learners without a single toilet. During break, they have to go to the bush.”

Skhumbuzo Maphumulo, a lawyer for the advocacy group, said the department was also testing Section 27’s patience regarding the provision of infrastructure to the Jaji Secondary School in the Vhembe region.

“The buildings are in a very poor condition, walls are badly cracked and roofs are leaking, resulting in flooding classrooms. When it rains learners and teachers spend two to three hours of each school day cleaning out water.

“Learners are forced to sit with umbrellas in classrooms. The roof of the principal’s office, which doubles up as a storeroom, library and administration office, also leaks. Consequently textbooks have been damaged by water, some so badly that they are no longer fit for use”.

The SGB, he said, has been writing to the department since 2005, but all to no avail and is ready to litigate if the department fails to respond positively.

“We don’t get pleasure from litigating against the state. It prolongs service delivery and it also forces government to use taxpayers’ money to defend those cases. We try all we can to persuade politicians to act,” Maphumulo said.

“We will exhaust every avenue and if we don’t get any joy we will then go to court”, he said, adding that he was in constant contact with the department.

Pooe also revealed there was a school with more than 133 learners in one class in Limpopo. The department, she said, had also told them that more than 200 000 pupils in Limpopo don’t have desks and chairs.

Department of Basic Education spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi referred all queries to the Limpopo Department of Education, which was not available for comment.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.