Mr Lesufi Stated that poor sanitation is a violation of students’ dignity, he promised that:
- Within the first 100 days of his tenure – a period that ends 31 August – he will unblock and fix all toilets in Gauteng schools
- He will provide all girl students with dignity packs
- He will implement Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure for all schools in Gauteng, which includes providing proper water, sanitation, classrooms, laboratories and libraries to all students
These are bold promises, which we undertake to monitor and to which we will hold the MEC to account as part of our ongoing campaign to improve school sanitation in Gauteng.
Since the outset of this campaign in September 2013, we have been calling for the MEC to release a plan to address the sanitation crisis in Tembisa and elsewhere. The plan should:
- Establish standards for the supply of sanitation materials, maintenance and monitoring
- Provide timelines as to when schools will reach these standards
- Include public accountability measures to ensure transparency and fairness during the tendering process
We believe that in addition to the public commitments made by MEC Lesufi, such a plan is still necessary and should be developed by the GDE and released publicly. This will allow communities and learners to anticipate government action and work together to maintain school resources.
In November 2013 EE released the results of a comprehensive sanitation audit, conducted by our members, which revealed a sanitation crisis in Tembisa. In response to our campaign, former Gauteng MEC for Education Barbara Creecy visited Tembisa on 12 January 2014 to inspect the state of schools’ facilities. According to media reports, she announced that the Gauteng Department of Education had appointed contractors to fix the sanitation crisis in Tembisa and would be delivering prefab toilet blocks to affected schools.
We are still in the process of working with MEC Lesufi and the GDE to ensure all this relief is delivered. The MEC’s statements on sanitation underscore his commitment to addressing these issues and we look forward to working with him to help provide proper sanitation for all students in Gauteng.
Tshepo Motsepe, Co-Head: Equal Education Gauteng
071 886 5637
Adam Bradlow, Co-Head: Equal Education Gauteng