3 March 2016

South Africa: Data Shows No Bucket Toilets in Gauteng (Or Any SA School)

The head of education in South Africa's Gauteng province claimed no school in the province has bucket toilets. That is true, according to the data, but also for the rest of the country.

No pupil has to use a bucket as a toilet in South Africa's Gauteng province, according to the head of education in the province.

"There are no schools using the bucket system in Gauteng today," member of the executive council Panyaza Lesufi told a school sanitation seminar in Johannesburg this week.

Is that true?

School infrastructure data supports claim

Lesufi's claim is supported by national data.

The 2015 national education infrastructure management system reported that no school in Gauteng used buckets for toilets. Out of 2,071 schools, 100 had mobile toilets, 26 had ventilated improved pit toilets, 14 had "enviro-loos" and 6 had pit toilets.

Gauteng is not alone in this achievement, however. None of South Africa's 23,589 schools were reportedly using bucket toilets in 2015.

(Note: Education experts have raised concerns about the reliability of the department of basic education's school infrastructure statistics.)

'There are toilets in very bad condition'

However, this doesn't mean school sanitation in the province is up to scratch.

Education advocacy group Equal Education conducted a social audit of conditions at 200 Gauteng schools in May and April of 2015.

"There are toilets in very bad condition in Gauteng schools. But as far as we are aware there are no bucket toilets," said senior researcher, Samuel Shapiro.

Conclusion: Data shows no bucket toilets in any SA school

The claim by the head of education in Gauteng that no schools in the province use bucket toilets is supported by national data. However, the same can be said for all schools in the country's nine provinces.

Edited by Anim van Wyk

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