2023 Deadline For Eradication Of Pit Toilets

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Hendrick Makaneta from the Foundation for Education and Social Justice, has commended President Cyril Ramaphosa for taking a decision on pit toilets. Makaneta believes that by setting a deadline, the government shows political will to eradicate the issue of pit toilets. 


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Hendrick Makaneta from the Foundation for Education and Social Justice, has commended President Cyril Ramaphosa for taking a decision on Pit Toilets. Makaneta believes that by setting a deadline, the government shows political will to eradicate the issue of pit toilets. 
The president will collaborate with the Nelson Mandela foundation and various other stakeholders to assist the Department of Education in eradicating pit toilets in South African schools by 2023. 
Pit toilets are extremely dangerous. In 2013, a seven-year old boy died when the walls of a pit-toilet collapsed on him at a primary school in Limpopo. In 2014, a five-year-old boy drowned in a pit toilet at a different primary school in Limpopo. Pit toilets, which mainly affect rural communities, can have devastating consequences. Makaneta says that pit-toilets affect not only school pupils, but communities as a whole as members of the communities also use them. 
Since the adoption of the Norms and Standards for Public Schools Infrastructure Act of 2013, guidelines that should be followed by all schools have been set out.
These guidelines are as follows: 
All schools made of inappropriate materials like mud, asbestos or wood must be replaced by 2016. 
All schools must be provided with access to water, electricity and toilets by 2016. This also meant the pit toilets were banned
SECTION27 cited data from 2019 showed that of the 3932 schools in Limpopo, 2226 still have pit toilets. This means that in 2019, more than half of the schools in Limpopo had pit toilets. 
Makaneta believes “that government alone, will not be able to resolve all of these challenges” and “the private sector should also come onboard to assist” with the problems with pit toilets
“Government has got a responsibility to make sure that the dignity of our people is preserved” added Makaneta
SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to achieve substantive equality and social justice in South Africa.

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