Students from more 3,000 schools from 6 provinces in the nation threat falling under pit toilets every day, while others from at least 253 schools lack water and 248 schools have no sanitation at all.
This is according to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which released the figures on Wednesday.
The commission said it has put 6 provincial education MECs “on terms” worrying water and sanitation deficiencies at schools in their provinces. These include Fundile Gade in the Eastern Cape, Kwazi Mshengu in KZN, Wendy Matsemela from the North West, Polly Boshielo from Limpopo, Bonakele Majuba from Mpumalanga and Tate Makgoe from the Free State.
The action follows reports received from relevant education MECs in action to requests by the commission on the source of water and type of sanitation at schools in each province.
According to the reports, the Eastern Cape was the worst-performing province, with 2,236 schools still utilizing pit latrines, 121 schools lack water and 199 schools have no form of sanitation.
The reports also suggest that:
- 983 schools in KZN are reliant on pit latrines;-LRB-
- nine schools lack water, 44 schools have no type of sanitation and 19 schools use pit latrines in the North West;-LRB-
- 113 schools lack water in Limpopo;-LRB-
- 59 schools utilize pit latrines in Mpumalanga; and
- 10 schools lack water and five do not have any kind of sanitation in the Free State.
The commission has actually written to the MECs needing that these provinces provide, to name a few things, in-depth action strategies with stringent amount of time and concrete steps to conquer the health and physical dangers to which students, teachers and administrators are exposed. The commission stated the action plans need to consist of the covering and securing of pit latrine toilets, which position a safety threat to learners.
The commission has notified the MECs that it will monitor the actions “attentively and take the required action, including litigation, if needed, in the very best interests of the kid, and to safeguard the right to a fundamental education”.
The commission said it is dedicated to working with the national education department and their provincial counterparts to ensure that the right to a standard education is right away understood.
In its letter to Gade, the commission revealed “serious concern that numerous schools in the Eastern Cape still do not have access to any water or any form of sanitation”. It stated this remains in breach not just of the standards and standards, but of numerous fundamental human rights.
It demanded an action plan with clear and urgent timelines for the provision of adequate water and sanitation centers to the relevant schools, that satisfy the minimum requirements set out in the standards and requirements and the upgrading of water and sanitation centers by October 29.
” The commission further demands that your office offer a progress report to the commission on a month-to-month basis on progress made with the implementation of the action plan. Offered the seriousness of this matter, and the potential affect that the lack of access to water and standard sanitation in schools has on a selection of civil liberties of both learners and personnel at the pertinent schools, including the right to life, the rights of the kid, the right to standard education, right to dignity, right to sufficient water and the right to a tidy environment, the commission requires the arrangement of the requested plan on or prior to October 29 2021,” composed commissioner André Gaum.
From other provinces the commission likewise required the provision of temporary procedures to guarantee access to adequate, acceptable water and sanitation pending the finalisation of the state’s plan to supply longer term water and sanitation infrastructure in all schools compliant with the norms and requirements and its constitutional obligations.
The plan must include information of the relevant carrying out departments and representatives, costed work strategies with targets in relation to each school, consisting of the information of the nature and extent of the setups, upgrades required for each school and timelines for completion of the identified targets.
” The timelines should take into consideration the urgent and pushing requirement to supply access to water and adequate sanitation to all schools, and where needed a need to put in place short-lived procedures,” Gaum composed.