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DA says ANC to be investigated for violating human rights in Lusikisiki pit toilet saga

Mar 22, 2019
DA says ANC to be investigated for violating human rights in Lusikisiki pit toilet saga

Lusikisiki - As campaigning for the May 8 National and Provincial elections heats up, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape has accused the African National Congress (ANC)of apparently violating the human rights of children in Lusikisiki.

"This follows after the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) agreed there is prima facie evidence of human rights violations at the Myolwa Senior Primary School in KwaNyathi village, Lusikisiki," said DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga.

"Last month, before conducting an oversight inspection at the school, I filed a complaint against the Eastern Cape Department of Education with the SAHRC for failing to provide adequate toilet facilities and sanitation, classrooms and resources for learners."

Bhanga said that the school has only four crumbling prefab classrooms and limited resources. 

"The principal informed us that two grades have to share one classroom. To relieve the space issue and when weather allows, learners are being taught outside," he added.

"The Department made R4,8 million available to construct buildings containing 23 pit toilets.

"Millions have already been spent on nine pit toilets that are too big and definitely unsafe for 5- and 6-year-olds at the school."

'Shoddy workmanship where millions were spent for nine pit toilets at Lusikisiki school'

Bhanga said that the building that houses the nine new pit toilets is also a prime example of shoddy workmanship and the misuse of public funds. An additional 14 pit toilets are now being dug. 

"The older and even more dangerous pit toilets are extremely unhygienic. These toilets are apparently out of bounds, but it was very clear that they are being used.

"Over 3 000 schools across South Africa still have nothing but pit latrines," he described.

In March 2018, five-year-old Lumka Mketwa drowned in a pit toilet at Luna Primary School in Bizana in the Eastern Cape.

Shortly afterwards, in November 2018, a five-year-old girl narrowly escaped drowning in human waste when she fell into a pit toilet at the Dalibango Primary School in Centane.

In response to a parliamentary question in March 2018, the Eastern Cape Education Department said that there are still 3 088 schools in the Eastern Cape that have insufficient sanitation.

"This means that nearly 60% of schools and learners in the province are forced to make use of unhealthy sanitation facilities," Bhanga said.

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