The South African Human Rights Commission and Equal Education have pointed out that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new campaign to fix school toilets comes just days after the department of basic education decided to appeal against a court ruling that the state must fix school infrastructure.
The Safe (Sanitation Appropriate for Education) campaign, launched at a breakfast with CEOs of major companies in Pretoria on Tuesday, has already raised R45 million from the corporate sector to fix sanitation in schools, according to a press release from the department. The department said 3,898 schools needed sanitation.
“The … initiative will spare generations of young South Africans the indignity, discomfort and danger of using pit latrines and other unsafe facilities in our schools,” said Ramaphosa at the SAFE launch.
“We do not understand why the president on the one hand would launch an initiative like SAFE, while his government attempts to argue that it cannot be bound to fix schools.”
“The Safe Initiative, rather than providing long-awaited solutions to the sanitation crisis, is another indication of unwillingness to treat dangerous school sanitation as an absolute emergency. The state has not seen fit to allocate additional funds to eliminate unsafe infrastructure in schools. Nor has it provided a plan for the use of funds it seeks to raise from the private sector.”