School pit toilets crisis: EFF welcomes SAHRC court action against ‘looting’ government

SEPTEMBER 16, 2021. Lichtenburg, North West Province. Thembile Blom, poses for a photograph, at a lavatory in the yard. It is believed that water and electricity have been a recurring problem in the municipality. Boikhutso residents, an informal settlement in the area have intermittent water cuts . Some residents use pit latrines as lavatories. PHOTOGRAPH: ALON SKUY

The EFF on Thursday commended the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for taking five provincial government departments to court for their failure to eradicate pit toilets in schools.

The party committed to supporting the commission in its pursuit of justice as a friend of the court and called on South Africans to do the same.

“We call on all well-meaning South Africans, non-governmental organisations, foundations and state organs to join the commission in the trenches of the court to take forward the struggle which parliamentary represented political parties have failed to execute,” the party said.

On November 26 the commission named Mpumalanga, North West, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape as the provinces it sought to challenge to ensure the implementation of the Minimum Uniform Norms and Standards for Public School Infrastructure, gazetted in 2013 by basic education minister Angie Motshekga.

Commission deputy chairperson Fatima Chohan said the policy requires the provision of water and sanitation.

“In 2014, through its report titled The right to access sufficient water and decent sanitation, the commission cautioned that a lack of access to sufficient water and decent sanitation violates several basic human rights, including the right to dignity, education and a safe and healthy environment,” said Chohan.

The EFF said the ruling party was “obsessed” with looting and squandering public funds at the expense of children, who are subjected to indignity.

“It cannot be that after 27 years of political freedom, and specifically 25 years of our world-renowned constitution, our children should die in pit toilets at the premises of government schools and continue to be subjected to the indignity of the worse order.”

 

Sowetan Live

 

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