What is MEC doing about 3 419 schools with pit toilets and 518 with no electricity?

Mbali Ntuli, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Education

A recent parliamentary reply to questions posed by the DA has revealed that there are 3 419 pit toilets at schools in KZN, with the province ranked second only to the Eastern Cape.

The same reply indicates that there are also 518 schools with no electricity.

The DA is appalled by these figures.

Pit toilets are not only dangerous – last year a young student died after falling into one at school – they also spread disease and bacteria.  For a school to function effectively without electricity is also virtually impossible.  Certainly, the use of computers and other critical education aids falls by the wayside, further compromising learners.

During a recent provincial Education portfolio committee, the department stressed that those schools most in need of infrastructure would be the focus so that they meet the norms and standards for schools by 2016.

The use of pit toilets and no electricity must be viewed by the department as needing urgent intervention.

I will today write to MEC Nkonyeni to request a progress report on her department’s interventions on these two issues and the steps that will be taken to address them.

I will also ask for the names of all affected schools in order to conduct oversight visits to determine the progress of the department’s interventions.

The DA expects the MEC to deal with this issue urgently.  Not just in the interest of providing a safe, clean environment for our learners but also as a matter of dignity.