Basic Education spends more than R300m on replacing pit latrines

Basic Education spends more than R300m on replacing pit latrines

The Department of Basic Education says it is making great strides in its efforts to replace pit latrines in schools across the country. 

Tembisa chemical toilets
Residents of Madelafuka informal settlement in Tembisa say there are not enough toilets in the area and 20 people are forced to share a toilet. Photo by Neo Motloung

The Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative estimates that there are close to 3000 schools on the department’s roll listed for upgrades. 


The bulk of the schools are in the Eastern Cape where there are more than 1000 schools with pit toilets.


More than 100 of these have been funded with appropriate sanitation facilities.


Of the 974 schools with pit latrines in KwaZulu-Natal, almost 380 have received upgrades since the initiative was launched in 2018.


North West has the least pit latrines in the 55 schools listed, with 37 projects completed.


Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga says the department has has since stepped up the monitoring of these projects to ensure that  they are completed on time, to specifications and on budget. 


“Mathanzima Mweli, the Director-General of the Department of Basic Education, has visited more than 500 construction sites since March 2021 to accelerate the delivery of the much-needed infrastructure. Mr Mweli is in Limpopo this week where he has visited sites in the Vhembe and Sekhukhune areas.


“The monitoring function has assisted the department to unblock challenges and resolve issues that delayed the building process.


“The SAFE Initiative is a flagship programme and I have resolved that I will carry out the monitoring function until the last school has a proper toilet. The monitoring has pushed our performance up and we are sure to hit our target even before the end of the current financial year.”


The SAFE programme is funded by the School Infrastructure Backlog grant with a total R2.2 billion budget in 2021/22 financial year.


At least 50% of this budget is allocated to the SAFE programme. 


So far, the department has reported R300 million in expenditure on replacing pit latrines across the country. 


Read full statement below:

Basic Education spends more than R300m on replacing pit latrines by Jacaranda FM News on Scribd

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