SECTION27 notes with great regret and outrage the death of a Grade R learner who fell into a pit toilet in Mahlodumela Primary School in Chebeng Village, Limpopo on Monday 20 January 2014. We extend our condolences to his family and community (see report).
This death was avoidable and highlights the unsafe conditions in which learners across Limpopo receive their education daily. We urge the National Department of Basic Education and the Limpopo Department of Education to take urgent steps to ensure that toilets in all schools in Limpopo are sanitary and safe. This is an essential condition without which proper learning cannot take place.
Given the urgency to resolve this crisis that children face, we also call upon construction companies to undertake to build school toilets in Limpopo. At least twelve big construction companies - including Aveng, Basil Read, Murray & Roberts and WBHO - have admitted to bid-rigging between 2006 and 2010. It would be a small measure of recompense for these companies to immediately make the resources and skills available to assist in fixing the problem of school toilets in Limpopo. They have a moral and social obligation to do so.
SECTION27 will be contacting the CEO's of each of the companies to make this request.
Statement issued by Mark Heywood, SECTION 27, January 22 2014
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