Proper sanitation in schools is a human right
We have 25 000 schools in South Africa; unfortunately, nearly a fifth of them still use pit toilets.
Schools are the heartbeat of our communities; they are there to secure the future of our country.
There is a human cost to this brick-and-mortar challenge that demands our attention.
It demands that every child be free from the indignity that Lumka suffered.
It has been determined that it will cost R10-billion to ensure that every school has safe and clean toilets.
Notwithstanding this high cost, for our part as government, we have committed R3.4-billion to improve school infrastructure and eradicate dangerous pit latrines in our country’s schools.
Our government is deeply pleased that Vodacom will be announcing a commitment this weekend at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela100 to support the government’s efforts to ensure safe toilets in schools.
Globally, the United Nations estimates that there are currently 2.3-billion people who live without access to adequate sanitation, one billion people who currently have no form of sanitation infrastructure, and 748-million people who live without access to drinking water.
As part of that commitment, South Africa must achieve access to adequate sanitation and hygiene for all.
We have made some progress in providing safe and adequate sanitation: the percentage of households with access to adequate sanitation increased from 62% in 2002 to 80% in 2015.