Pit toilets a daily reality for thousands of pupils

Almost 5,000 schools across the country have no proper sanitation facilities.

Picture: Freeimages.com

CAPE TOWN - Almost 5,000 schools across the country have no proper sanitation facilities.

It emerged at a meeting of Basic Education Department officials and Members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday that the schools only have pit toilets.

MPs lambasted department officials for sugar-coating the lack of infrastructure at schools in several provinces.

The committee says it's distressed that thousands of pupils will again attend school without proper sanitation facilities.

The department's 2017 readiness report indicates every school in Limpopo has adequate sanitation.

But the committee says almost 1,000 schools in that province only have pit toilets.

It adds the situation is dire in the Eastern Cape where almost 2,000 schools have pit latrines, followed by Kwazulu-Natal with around 1,400.

However, the department says it expects the roll-out of infrastructure to schools countrywide to improve as a task team is in charge of addressing problems.

Department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga says officials are ready.

“The schools are ready as we have done this several times. The majority of our schools are such that they’re prepared for the school year of 2017.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)