The Ministry of Basic Education said it will eliminate pit toilets from at least 1,000 public schools across the country during this fiscal year.
The Deputy Minister for Basic Education, Reginah Mhaule revealed this during the mini plenary debate during the tabling of the department’s budget vote in Parliament.
The Department’s budget allocation for the current financial year 2022/23 stands at R29 billion.
Mhaule says eradicating unsafe pit toilets is just one of the top priorities for the year under review.
Last year, the South African Human Rights Commission revealed that around more than 3,000 public schools in six provinces had pit toilets. The commission’s report also cited that some of the challenges in these schools include sanitation issues and lack of water.
The deputy minister says part of the department’s priority is the eradication of dry toilets in the current fiscal year.
“The remaining sixteen schools in the acid program will receive a full set of proper toilets during this exercise. Likewise, the remaining 1,550 schools in the safety program will be replaced with a full set of proper toilets. Regarding the use of the allocated budget, we are proud to report that we have used 100% of the school infrastructure backlog grant and 99% of the basic infrastructure grant,” says Mhaule.
Problems of gender-based violence, bullying and racism in public schools have intensified in some provinces. And the deputy minister says a comprehensive campaign with sister ministries has been developed to address these challenges.
“The multi-sectoral approach has been embraced by the department which recognizes the immensity of the challenges faced by all learners and educators in response to trends posed by bullying, gender-based violence and femicide. The campaign is supported by many other sister departments such as the Department of Health, Social Development, Home Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Development, Communications and Digital Technology as well as the South African Police Service The campaign will be rolled out across all six remaining provinces, especially in the hot spot over the next few fiscal years,” says Mhaule.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga also told the virtual rally that as part of tackling unemployment issues, they have created nearly 600 job opportunities for young people in the education sector. basic.
“From December 2020 to date, we have been able to create over 596 job opportunities for young people in different fields and we have allocated a budget of R13 million. I also want to inform this Chamber of some of our strategic areas so that we are judged on what we said we would do. Our six priorities to call home are that we are committed to continuing to lay a solid foundation for an efficient and quality education system, as well as providing some kind of skills in the future,” says Motshekga.
The Minister revealed that the provision of school nutrition will also receive a larger share of the budget allocation for the year under review.