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DA to report ECape Education Department to Human Rights Commission and SIU

Feb 11, 2019
DA to report ECape Education Department to Human Rights Commission and SIU

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape says it will file a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against the Eastern Cape Education Department for failing to provide adequate toilet facilities and sanitation, classrooms and resources for learners at Myolwa Senior Primary School in KwaNyathi village, Lusikisiki.

"We will also be requesting that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) launches an investigation into the possibility of corruption and collusion," said DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga.

This is after a newspaper report said that hundreds of children "share four unsafe prefab classrooms, whilst some learners have to use crumbling mud structures or be taught outside under a tree", he said.

"Apparently up to 5 learners have to share one desk, and even then there is not enough furniture for everyone.

"The school’s governing body is also alleging the department spent R4.8 million on 9 pit latrines. These pit latrines are apparently also incomplete and poses a danger to learners," Bhanga described.

'Over 3 000 schools across South Africa still have only pit latrines'

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

"Shortly after, 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," Bhanga continued.

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

"This means that just less than 60% of schools and learners in the Eastern Cape are left with unhealthy sanitation facilities.

"The failing ANC government is not only killing our children by providing them with lacking sanitation and dangerous pit toilets, but it is also killing the future of our country," Bhanga said.

"A lack of infrastructure and resources on the first step of the ladder to opportunity is the root cause of our children not being provided with the platform to launch into the jobs market.

"Next week, I will be doing an oversight inspection at this school to fully inform myself of the situation."

Bhanga said that he has also instructed my colleague Edmund van Vuuren MPL, Shadow MEC for Education, to take up the plight of Myolwa Senior Primary School in the Eastern Cape Legislature.

"Nothing is more important for our children’s future – and the future of our country – than having a good quality basic education. It is the key building block on the pathway to a good job."

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