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Eastern Cape MEC: Inter-departmental support is needed to eradicate pit latrines

The department said while it would prioritise the safety of school pupils, the installation of new toilets required a sewage system that currently doesn’t exist in rural areas.

FILE: The MEC’s comments follow the tragic drowning of a school pupil in a pit toilet in March, and a commitment by the national department to eradicate pit toilets by 2025. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Eastern Cape education department says the eradication of pit latrines in the province requires more engagement from different sectors of government.

The provincial department held a media briefing on Friday, to update the public on its budget plans for the new financial year.

This followed Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga’s announcement last week that the department has committed to eradicating pit latrine toilets at schools by 2025.

The department said while it prioritised the safety of learners in schools, the installation of new toilets required a sewage system that currently does not exist in rural areas.

READ: EC schools’ toilet woes: ‘The smell of the poo remains in your clothes’

These comments follow a recent tragedy in the province in which four-year-old Langalam Viki was found dead in a pit toilet at a school.

The incident again put the spotlight on inadequate school infrastructure.

Eastern Cape MEC for Education, Fundile Gade said departments needed to collaborate.

READ: Advocacy groups keep watchful eye on DBE’s commitment to root out pit toilets

“It’s a very sensitive debate which requires the departments of rural development, human settlements, water and sanitation and then the Department of Education, so that collectively we find an everlasting solution to this,” said Gade.



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