Ramaphosa launches campaign to make school toilets safer
Five months after the death of 5-year-old Lumka Mkhethwa‚ who fell into a pit toilet at her school in Bizana in the Eastern Cape‚ the government has launched an initiative to improve sanitation at schools.
President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the Sanitation Appropriate For Education (Safe) initiative at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria on Tuesday. Ramaphosa said the aim of the initiative was to encourage collective action to give all children in the country something that many took for granted.
"We are here to ask you to be part of a bold social initiative to ensure that every school in the country has safe and appropriate sanitation facilities‚" he said.
“This is an initiative that will save lives and restore the dignity of tens of thousands of our nation's children as our constitution demands.”
Ramaphosa said schools should be centres for building communities and for strengthening partnerships between a government of the people and the people themselves.
Among the dignitaries who attended the event were business people‚ Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi and Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga.
Meanwhile‚ a group of people protested outside the hotel as Ramaphosa delivered his speech.
Following the death of Mkhethwa in March‚ the president directed Motshekga to conduct an audit of all schools with unsafe ablution facilities.