By Kaya 959 News
Six years after an application was made calling for the eradication of pit toilets at Limpopo schools, the matter is expected to head to court this week.
The application, brought forward by Section27, will be heard in the Polokwane High Court on Friday.
Section27 spokesperson, Julia Chaskalson, said the hearing, initially set to be heard on Monday, 24 May 2021, was postponed after the Judge President of the High Court indicated that the date had not been confirmed by all parties.
“It has been six years since we instituted legal proceedings against the Limpopo Department of Education and the Department of Basic Education for safe and proper sanitation in schools in Limpopo,” she said.
Would you use these toilets? | The #COVID19 pandemic has escalated the urgency for #sanitation in schools to be fixed. #Pittoilets do not comply with basic standards of #hygiene. Education authorities need to #fixsanitationnow @DBE_SA @edu_limp Enough #toiletpaperpromises! pic.twitter.com/qE9WKc3Tab
— SECTION27 (@SECTION27news) August 2, 2021
Chaskalson said the poor conditions of toilets in schools in Limpopo continue to pose an imminent threat to the lives, health and dignity of learners.
These unsafe pit-toilets are responsible for the injury and death of learners, including five-year-old Michael Komape and seven-year-old Lister Magongwa.
In 2018, the High Court handed down a structural order in the Rosina Komape and Others v. Department of Basic Education and Others case, instructing the LDOE to address the need for safe toilets in schools by submitting a plan for the eradication of pit toilets, as well as an audit indicating the sanitation needs throughout schools in the province.
However, Chaskalson said the plan that the LDOE provided is unreasonable and unconstitutional, suggesting that the department will abolish pit-toilets by the end of 2030.
She said this will contribute to the continuation of violations to learners’ rights to basic education, equality, dignity and an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing.
“We are going back to court to seek an order for LDOE to submit a new and consolidated plan that deals with poor sanitation in schools on an urgent basis,” Chaskalson said.