South Africa: World Toilet Day 2019 - for Learners, a Safe and Clean Toilet Is As Necessary As a Text Book

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In any discussion on the right to education it would be remiss not to acknowledge that violations of this right always hit hardest those who are black, female, poor and live in rural areas. In campaigning for better-quality education for such children, the role of sanitation is central.

In South Africa, the legal framework that sets out the right to education is robust and unambiguous. In the last few years, the courts have gone to great lengths to give substance to what this right to education entails, and it is this same legal framework that informs our work as activists.

Section 29(1)(a) of the Constitution says "everyone has the right to a basic education, including adult basic education".

The courts have been at pains to explain what this means. For example, in Juma Musjid Primary School and Another v Ahmed Asruff Essay N.O. and Others it was expressly stated that the right to education is "immediately realisable" - which means all components of the right must be provided as soon as possible.

This is distinct from other socio-economic rights, which are subject to qualifiers such as "progressive realisation" and "within available resources".

The court in Equal Education and Another v...

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