Sanitation crisis sees Soweto school close its gates to learners

Ormonde Primary School's SGB has temporarily closed the school due to unserviced toilets.

The School Governing Body (SGB) says there are only 10 mobile toilets on the school grounds and 700 pupils.Picture: Free Images.

JOHANNESBURG - Ormonde Primary School in the south of Johannesburg has temporarily closed its gates due to unserviced mobile toilets.

Despite this, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has ordered the school to reopen tomorrow morning.

Hundreds of pupils were turned away at the gates this morning when the School Governing Board raised concern over poor sanitation at the school in the south of Johannesburg.

Lesufi has expressed his dissatisfaction with the state of the 20 temporary toilets that have been set up here at Ormonde primary to accommodate over 700 pupils.

"Get extra mobile toilets that are presentable. There are young people that are here. There are mobile toilets where is water coming out. That's why we need extra [toilets] that are presentable."

The MEC has condemned the school governing body for closing the school, saying only a head of department has the power to make such a decision.

The SGB says there are only 10 mobile toilets on the school grounds and 700 pupils enrolled for the 2016 year.

One parent says they were given notices as they arrived this morning, stating that the school would be reopened on 25 January.

"Some of us are going back to work, we thought the schools were opening today. We need to make arrangements for the next 12 days. The problem is that even on 25 January we don't know if they are going to be sorted by then."

The Education Department's Oupa Bodibe says, "The way forward is that we will engage with SGB and find an interim solution, which is to find water supply. The department did not officially close the school."