Pupils of Ubuhle Bemvelo Primary School in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal will now be using safe new toilets, thanks to a partnership between government and the private sector.
The 48 toilets were donated by Amalooloo, a private company, after a call made by President Cyril Ramaphosa for business to work with government in eradicating unsafe toilets. The Principal of Ubuhle Bemvelo Primary School, Oscar Sithole, said they are grateful for the toilets as they ensured that pupils are safe. He said the toilets would protect pupils from contracting illnesses.
“Having proper toilets in our school is a reflection of transformation. The school has been without proper ablution facilities for a long time,” said Sithole.
Of the 48 toilets, six were especially designed to be used by Grade R pupils.
“There are extra toilets for Grade R. There were initially 42 toilets but they have given us an additional six,” he said.
The handover of the toilets was done at the launch of the roll-out of Sanitation Appropriate for Education Initiative (SAFE) by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga.
The SAFE initiative has seen the construction of 787 safe and grade-appropriate sanitation facilities, with a further 841 schools either in planning, design or construction stages across schools in the country.
Ubuhle Bemvelo Primary is the first school in KwaZulu-Natal to receive toilets as part of the SAFE programme.
“Studies show that proper sanitation and good hygiene practices increase learner participation in class while reducing absenteeism due to illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia,” Minister Motshekga said.
The Minister said the initiative sought to deliver ablution facilities speedily by working with private sector companies.
DID YOU KNOW
Through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative about 226 sanitation projects and 21 inappropriate structures have reached completion