President Cyril Ramaphosa says it’s a tragedy that the safe toilets initiative was sparked by the deaths of school children.
In March, Ramaphosa directed Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to conduct an audit and implement an urgent plan following the death of a five-year-old girl in a pit toilet at an Eastern Cape school.
The president on Tuesday launched the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative in Pretoria.
Ramaphosa has called on government, business and society to work together to restore the dignity of pupils.
“In mostly rural and township schools by providing age-appropriate sanitation facilities, just as it takes a village to raise a child, so, too, does it takes the entire society to educate a child.”
But Equal Education says it’s disturbed that the department has launched this initiative while fighting its own constitutional obligations in court.
The ministry plans on appealing the High Court ruling which found its indefinite delay in fixing unsafe and inadequate infrastructure at schools unconstitutional and invalid.