‘Corrupt builders should donate toilets’

Section 27 wants companies involved in bid-rigging to donate toilets to Limpopo schools.

Toilet facilities at Ximunwanani Secondary School in Phaphazela village, Limpopo, 9 January 2013. Picture: Tara Meaney/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Human rights group Section 27 has appealed to private companies that admitted to bid rigging during the construction of world cup stadia to build sanitation facilities in Limpopo schools.

The death of six-year-old pupil Michael Komape who fell into a pit toilet and suffocated last week highlighted the need to address the dire state of sanitation in hundreds of the province's schools.

Earlier this month, Eyewitness News visited several of these schools and found most pupils had to decide between using fly-infested pit toilets or the bushes near their classrooms.

A pit toilet at a Limpopo school. Picture: Tara Meaney/EWN.

Section 27 says the situation is a crisis that could lead to more deaths.

The group has visited more than 100 schools since September 2012 and met with the Department of Basic Education on Wednesday to discuss their findings.

"The department recognised the intensity of the sanitation crisis and agreed to accelerate and intensify its delivery plans. There has been some process in eradicating unsafe and unhygienic sanitation facilities," says the organisation's Nikki Stein.

"But it's also necessary to recognise that there's an enormous amount of work that still needs to be done."