6 August 2018

South Africa: Department of Basic Education's Pit Toilet Plan Likely to Be More of the Same


At last! A plan from the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, to eradicate pit toilets at schools is forthcoming. This should be cause for celebration but, unfortunately, it will be met with trepidation.

The first sign of trouble came with the initial results of the "rapid audit" presented to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Appropriations Committee in May.

One must ask why, given that we have an entire National Education Infrastructure Management System (NIEMS), another audit was necessary. It appears the national Department of Basic Education (DBE) itself has concerns over the figures captured on NEIMS. This should not come as a surprise, since repeated news articles have reported pit toilets in locations not listed by the government.

On 22 March 2018, the minister stated that there were 8,679 schools with pit toilets. On 17 April 2018, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) told the Basic Education Portfolio Committee at Parliament that there were 5,779 schools with pit toilets. On 30 May, the DBE told the National Council of...

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