Money meant to fix the country's school sanitation mess has gone to fighting Covid-19, but provinces were already faring dismally in meeting the legally required school infrastructure norms and standards.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are about 367 million children worldwide who attend a school without a single sanitation facility.
South Africa is no exception. Children are still forced to use dangerous sanitation facilities that have resulted in deaths.
"Although the government has made several promises about eradicating unsafe sanitation infrastructure at schools, Covid-19 has exposed the continued inadequacy of school sanitation infrastructure around South Africa," said Julia Chaskalson, SECTION27's communications officer.
There is progress, she adds, but the pace is slow.
"According to the norms and standards, all schools should have been provided with enough classrooms, electricity, water, and toilets, and with fences, telephones and internet by 29 November 2020 [this Sunday]," Equal Education (EE) said.
The norms and standards govern what basic infrastructure schools are required to have by law after every three years, from the year the regulations were promulgated.
They were signed into law by Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga in 2013 so unsafe school structures - such as mud schools and...