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Education Dept plans to fast-track provision of safe toilets at schools

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa told Education Minister Angie Motshekga that she had a month to provide him with an audit on school sanitation.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga briefing the media after she called an urgent Council of Education Ministers meeting. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the recent tragedies at schools have forced her department to re-prioritise sanitation as a matter of urgency.

Motshekga has called an urgent meeting with provincial education heads to discuss issues around school infrastructure.

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa told the Education Minister that she had a month to provide him with an audit on school sanitation and three months to roll out proper infrastructure.

Ramaphosa gave the instruction after five-year-old Lumka Mkhethwa drowned in an Eastern Cape pit toilet earlier in March.

Motshekga says her department will be working in all provinces to accelerate the provision of adequate and safe sanitation at schools.

Motshekga says her department has committed to provide Ramaphosa with a detailed audit including costs to address the problem.

“On our current budget, we will reprioritise that which we can.”

The education minister has once again sent her condolences to the family of Mkhethwa, who drowned in a pit toilet at a school in Bizana.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)