Neelam Rahim | email@example.com
11 March 2023 | 22:27 CAT
There is outrage after yet another child drowned in a pit latrine at a public school. The four-year-old’s body was found after her mother searched for her at a primary school in Glen Grey in the Eastern Cape. This has led to renewed calls for the government to do more to eradicate pit toilets.
The child’s death comes a week after the department of primary education (DBE) missed yet another deadline to eradicate all illegal plain pit toilets from schools.
Stanley Malematja from the Centre of Child Law highlights the issue of a pit toilet in public schools is not unique to the Eastern Cape, ignoring children’s rights and leaving them in constant danger.
“The department of basic education does not respect, protect nor promote the dignity of learners which cannot be tolerated in a democratic society,” he says.
Meanwhile, several children have died in pit toilets over the last decade.
In December, the body of a 3-year-old boy was found in a pit toilet in a village outside Vuwani in Limpopo.
In 2018, a 5-year-old girl died after falling into a pit toilet at Luna Primary School in Bizana in the Eastern Cape.
In 2014, Grade R pupil Michael Komape died at Mahlodumela Primary School in Limpopo when he fell into a pit toilet.
According to the 2021 National Education Infrastructure Management System report, more than 1 in 400 schools in the Eastern Cape had pit toilets.
Listen to the interview with presenter ML Habib Bobat and his guest Stanley Malematja on Radio Islam’s podcast.