28 July 2020 - NW1466
Mashabela, Ms N to ask the Minister of Basic Education to ask the Minister of Basic Education
While 3 800 schools in mainly rural areas still rely on pit latrines, over 3500 schools are without adequate infrastructure, no personal protective equipment and without sufficient water, resulting in many of these schools failing to meet her deadline of 8 June 2020 to reopen the schools, (a) by what date will her department ensure that not a single school is without these basic necessities and (b) what is her position with regard to schools that have no access to the specified necessities at this time?
It is true that several schools have challenges related to water supply and sanitation. The Department of Basic Education is working with the various Provincial Departments of Education, Rand Water and the water boards to address such challenges.
The Provincial Departments identified about 3 500 schools had water supply challenges. The Department of Basic Education contracted Rand Water to implement an Emergency Water Supply programme. The adopted solution was water delivery to on-site storage tanks at these schools. Some schools had existing on-site storage tanks, while 2 274 schools required such tanks. On 17 July 2020, Rand Water reported that on-site storage tanks have now been installed at these schools that required tanks. Provincial Departments of Education reported on 17 July 2020 that all schools identified with water challenges now have water. The planning and implementation of permanent solutions are part of the ongoing capital programmes of the Provincial Departments of Education. The date for the implementation of the permanent solutions is dependent on the availability of funding.
It is also correct that the Provincial Departments of Education identified more than 3 800 schools that rely on basic pit toilets. Again, the Department of Basic Education is working with the various Provincial Departments of Education to address such challenges. Sanitation solutions have been implemented at 68 of these schools under the ASIDI programme. The Provincial Departments of Education have addressed the needs at a further 834 schools. Several partnerships contributed to solve the challenge at another 103 schools. The Department of Basic Education appointed 4 different implementing agents to address a further 1 121 schools. These implementing agents are in varying stages of completion of the sanitation solutions. The current plan is to eradicate the basic pit toilets by March 2022. This is however dependent on the availability of funding for this purpose.