Litigation: Safe school toilets battle back in court

The fight for safe, dignified, and sanitary school toilets in Limpopo will continue at the Limpopo High Court (Polokwane) on Monday. An IoL report notes that Section27 Advocates Nikki Stein and Thabang Pooe will be submitting their heads of arguments. The organisation’s standing is that ‘plans’ made to eradicate pit toilets at schools in the province are not good enough. ‘We are going back to court to fight for the implementation of the structural order which was handed down in the Rosina Komape and Others v Department of Basic Education and Others case,’ the organisation said.

Section27 argues that the department’s plans are not reasonable in terms of the law. It also rejects the department’s claims that pit toilets can only be eradicated from all Limpopo schools by the end of 2030. ‘We are calling for the court to rule the ... “plan” for the abolishing of pit toilets as unconstitutional. We are requesting that the court order the education authorities file a new, consolidated plan with the court, about how they will urgently replace all pit toilets at schools in the province and replace them with appropriate sanitation. We are also calling for better oversight and monitoring of delivery,’ said Section27. The six-year legal battle between Section27, the Limpopo Department of Education and the Department of Basic Education for the eradication of the pit toilets stems from the death of a pupil Michael Komape, who died when he fell into a pit toilet.

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