SECTION27’s court case to fight for the eradication of pit toilets in Limpopo schools, which was originally set down to be heard by the High Court of South Africa (Limpopo Division) on Monday 24 May 2021 has been postponed.

We have been informed by the Judge President of the High Court, Judge Makgoba that the matter was set down for Monday, 24 May 2021 before Judge Muller by the Registrar however, that date was not confirmed with Judge Muller who is unavailable on that date.

We are waiting to receive an alternative court hearing date from the High Court in Polokwane. Given the seriousness of the matter, and because learners’ rights are at stake, we are requesting a preferential date. We will communicate the new dates and details with media in due course.

Despite delays to this case, our campaign to eradicate unsafe and unlawful pit toilets at schools across Limpopo continues. The case started in 2016, and our campaign is now in its sixth year. We were 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 court had ordered in 2018 that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Limpopo Department of Education (LDOE) must file plans to eradicate pit toilets and provide the court with an updated audit of sanitation needs at schools in the province.

Evidence suggests that progress made to implement the structural order has been slow, and SECTION27 has serious concerns about the ‘plans’ of the education authorities. We intend to return to court as soon as possible to urge the court to order that the LDOE and DBE file a new, consolidated plan for the eradication of unlawful and undignified sanitation at Limpopo schools, and calling for better oversight and monitoring of service delivery.

“SECTION27 is extremely disappointed that this matter is not going ahead on Monday. We will be asking for a date at the soonest possible opportunity for this matter to be heard,” says head of education rights programme at SECTION27 Dr Faranaaz Veriava. “It has been seven years since Michael Komape died and three years since the structural interdict was handed down requiring that government develop a plan for the eradication of pit toilets in Limpopo. The ongoing violation of the rights of poor learners because of unsafe and undignified toilets must be remedied.”

 

For media queries, contact:

Julia Chaskalson (083 440 2674 or chaskalson@section27.org.za)

Boitumelo Masipa (081 452 9096 or masipa@section27.org.za)