''A lack of political to abolish pit latrines"

Social justice organisation Section27 has accused the government of lacking the political to do away with pit latrines. 

Sanitation Report
Pic Courtesy: Sibahle Motha

The organisation released a report into sanitation at Limpopo schools at Constitution Hill on Monday.


The results paints a bleak picture of schools toilets in the province.


Several children have died after falling into pit latrines around the country, including 5-year-old Michael Komape who fell into a pit latrine at his school in Limpopo in 2014.


“I don’t think we have seen evidence of sufficient political will to make things move a whole lot faster. We have been working on this since 2012/2013. We have seen some movement but not enough. We think that with sufficient will and sufficient push things could be improved drastically in quick speed,” said Section 27’ education attorney Samantha Bruner.


The organisation inspected a total of 86 schools in the province. 


“Of all our samples, we didn’t find any that were 100% good enough considering the circumstances. There were some which were close but didn’t have a facility of used sanitary waste, meaning that learners were throwing sanitary waste into the pits or toilets. There were a large number which we classified as red and orange which means they had pit toilets somewhere which means that pit toilets were posing a safety hazard for learners,” said Bruner.


Section27 also revealed that some of the toilets built in Limpopo schools were not funded by the government but parents.


“Historically, the Limpopo province has been under-funded and a large number of the facilitation built were built from donations from parents who were all trying to make sure that their children can get an education.


“The province itself even after democracy, has been plagued with a number of administrative challenges. These include maladministration, corruption, lack of capacity and a record of failing to deliver,” said senior researcher Thabang Pooe.



“There are 857 schools in Limpopo that have new facilities. however the dangerous old structures are still on school premises and there are 614 schools in Limpopo that have insufficient toilets.


“Many of the children and the teachers were concerned about the sanitation of the facilities because it posed a daily risk for learners,” she adds.

The Department of Basic Education was not present at the release of the report. 


A representative from the Presidency took a copy of the report which will be handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa.


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