JOHANNESBURG – The Basic Education Department has confirmed that it is finalising an audit report of all state schools that still use pit toilets.
According to the department, there are currently 3 532 pit toilets at schools across the country.
A tragedy and ensuing legal battle that thrust the issue into the spotlight was heard in a Limpopo court on Monday.
The family of Michael Komape, was claiming R3 million for grief suffered by all immediate family members as the High court in Polokwane dismissed the claim to compensate them.
Five-year-old Komape was a grade R learner who died a gruesome death when his school pit toilet collapsed and drowned at Mahlodumela Primary School outside Polokwane on January 20, 2014.
Judgement handed down in the Michael Komape case is as follows.
Claim A for general damages Dismissed.
Claim B for constitutional damages dismissed.
Only costs granted are for medical costs for two of Michael's siblings. #Justice4Michael.
— SECTION27 (@SECTION27news) April 23, 2018
However, the Court ordered the department to ensure that it supplies and installs proper sanitation facilities in all rural schools.
The department’s Elijah Mhlanga says: “We were in the process of putting together an audit of all the schools with pit latrines as well as a plan of how those pit latrines are going to be eradicated.”