The pits: Komapes get no cash, but department ordered to fix loos

24 April 2018 - 07:00 By Graeme Hosken
The parents of Michael Komape, James and Rosina Komape. Their son died after he fell into a pit latrine at his school.
The parents of Michael Komape, James and Rosina Komape. Their son died after he fell into a pit latrine at his school.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

The Basic Education Department needs an estimated R27-billion if it is to fix collapsing school infrastructure and eradicate thousands of pit toilets that endanger the lives of South Africa’s children.

The requirements were revealed to Times Select after the Polokwane High Court in Limpopo issued a non-negotiable order against the department: conduct a thorough audit of the number of pit toilets and eradicate them once and for all.

In a scathing judgment delivered on Monday, Judge Gerrit Muller slammed the department for its “reprehensible” lack of understanding of basic human rights of South Africa’s pupils.

While the department has until July 30 to come up with its plan on how to replace pit toilets, it is confident its plan will be ready within two weeks. The order follows President Cyril Ramaphosa, in March, instructing the department to come up with a strategy to do away with such toilets.

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