Kids barred from clean toilets

By Drum Digital
17 June 2014

Construction workers in Limpopo say they don't want school children to have to use dangerous, unhygienic pit toilets or bushes to relieve themselves but they refuse to continue to work unpaid. Thousands of school children are at the unfortunate receiving end of a spat between construction workers and the provincial government. After probing by the City Press, the government said a payment had been made through the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which was managing the contractors. The construction project covered 50 schools in Limpopo’s Vhembe and Mopani districts with one contractor for each site. It was brought on by the death of six year-old learner Michael Komape who fell into a pit toilet at his school in Chebeng village outside Polokwane.

A contractor who spoke to the City Press on condition of anonymity said he had spent about R250?000 of his own money to build toilets at a school in the Vhembe district.

“I haven’t fully paid my workers. I owe the bank and the interest is mounting and there is still no hope that I am going to be paid any time soon,” he said.

Payments have since reportedly been made and the construction of these toilets should continue soon.

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