Limpopo Schools Still Use Pit Toilets Despite its Deadly Risks

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The Limpopo Department of Education remains unmoved as they expose its learners to pit latrine toilets. This comes even after the incident where a learner fell and died in the toilet.


The Limpopo Department of Education is reported to have continued its ignorance to the danger its learners face in pit latrine toilets.

Section 27 legal researcher, Motheo Brodie, has expressed her and the organisation's disappointment after they fought so hard to have the department held accountable.

Back in 2018 we were in court for a learner who fell into a pit toilet and died. Now, after a case in 2018, the department was ordered to submit a plan to how they will eradicate pit toilets, and the department failed dismally.

Motheo said the department merely submitted an incompetent plan that lacked detailed data on how many schools needed urgent intervention for proper sanitation.

Section 27 was facing off with the department of education in court about two weeks ago to have the department answer for delayed eradication of pit latrine toilets.

Motheo also added that the department has the funds, but they continue to underspend, hiding behind a tight budget.

Section 27 also shared that in 2014, an amount of R700 million was set aside for the eradication of the pit latrine toilets in Limpopo schools.

Motheo said the task team needs to be set up to look into the issue of delayed proper sanitation at Limpopo schools by the department.

She calls on the court to have the department establish a task team that will include the civil society, the department of education officials, and an independent experts body that will ensure accuracy of data.

The department of education in Limpopo is reported to have submitted a plan that aims at eradicating pit latrine toilets in 2031.

In response, advocate for the state, Simon Phaswane, argued that the Enviro-Loo solution did not require the use of water, which was particularly scarce in rural Limpopo.

Phaswane continued to say that it would not be just and reasonable to order the state to eradicate all pit latrines in the province due to considerations beyond its control, such as budgetary and human resources limitations.

Instead, the court should allow the state to submit progress reports once every six months until school pit latrines had been eradicated, said Phaswane.

Section 27 however responded by saying that letting the department off this would delay the total eradication of pit toilets in schools and endanger the lives of children.

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