#EndSchoolPitToilets: Mpumalanga learners forced to use dangerous pit toilets and learn under trees  

Issued by Baxolile 'Bax' Nodada MP – DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education
26 Jul 2023 in News

Yesterday, the DA continued with our #EndSchoolPitToilets at Sibukosetfu Secondary School in Mpumalanga, where the 1 123 learners are forced to use 10 pit toilets – five for each gender, all of which are full, with no Departmental intervention in sight. The 56 staff members at the school use two zink pit toilets.

While the school has the necessary infrastructure to install flush toilets, including a donated borehole through the school governing body (SGB), the Mpumalanga Department of Basic Education (DBE) has failed to fulfil promises that the building of proper sanitation facilities would be prioritised. What is even more troubling is the three open pits that have a deep cavity underneath which poses a terrible danger for the learners and should have been eradicated eons ago.

According to the school, the Department of Human Settlements attempted to drill further boreholes and establish reservoirs on the school grounds, but this project was an utter failure and is now being investigated by the HAWKS.

The learners of Lamulelani Secondary School are subjected to some of the worst pit toilets we’ve ever come across.

A total of 604 learners and 14 teachers are forced to use dangerous pit toilets built in 1987 and infections are a regular occurrence.

Teachers are forced to teach learners under trees as the Department has failed to rebuild and repair infrastructure damaged by protestors. The little intact infrastructure is in danger of vandalism as the school has no fence to keep criminals or roaming animals at bay.

Due to the rain and the fact that remaining classrooms have leaking roofs, learners were allowed to go home early, resulting in learning losses – unfortunately, another regular occurrence at the school.

It is atrocious that neither Sibukosetfu nor Lamulelani have been targeted to form part of the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) or Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) Initiatives. Nor were they prioritised by the Mpumalanga DBE who had to return R312 million in unspent infrastructure grants.

Neither of these schools were on the DBE list of schools with pit toilets.

The media is welcome to join our oversights. The dates are as follows:

Dates  Province   Area   Schools  
26 July Pit toilet oversight Limpopo Vaalwater




Ephraim Mogale Municipality

Phokoane (Manetolwaneng)

E A Davidson Primary School

Abbotspoort Primary School

Nkotsane Primary School

Nkota High School

Mogadime Secondary School

Nteteleng Primary School

27 July Pit toilet oversight North West Cyferskuil




Makekeng Primary School

Badumedi Primary School

Sempapa Secondary School

Mmamathibe Primary School

28 July Pit toilet oversight KZN iLembe Ensikeni Primary School

Mandeni Primary School