The case for eradicating pit-toilets at schools in Limpopo will be heard on Friday 6 August 2021 before Judge Muller in the High Court of South Africa (Limpopo Division) in Polokwane.

The hearing initially set to be heard on Monday, 24 May 2021, was postponed after the Judge President of the High Court indicated that the date had not been confirmed by all parties.

It has been six years since SECTION27 instituted legal proceedings against the Limpopo Department of Education (LDOE) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) for safe and proper sanitation in schools in Limpopo. The poor conditions of toilets in schools in Limpopo continue to pose an imminent threat to the lives, health and dignity of learners. These unsafe pit-toilets are responsible for the injury and death of learners, including five-year-old Michael Komape and seven-year-old Lister Magongwa. In 2018, the High Court handed down a structural order in the Rosina Komape and Others v. Department of Basic Education and Others case, instructing the LDOE to address the need for safe toilets in schools by submitting a plan for the eradication of pit toilets, as well as an audit indicating the sanitation needs throughout schools in the province.

However, the plan that the LDOE provided is unreasonable and unconstitutional, suggesting that the department will abolish pit-toilets by the end of 2030. This will contribute to the continuation of violations to learners’ rights to basic education, equality, dignity and an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing. We are going back to Court to seek an order for LDOE to submit a new and consolidated plan that deals with poor sanitation in schools on an urgent basis.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the media may apply for permission to report on the proceedings in the courtroom by writing to Judge Muller’s secretary at LKhangale@judiciary.org.za.

The updated details of the court hearing are as follows:

Date: Friday, 6 August 2021

Time: 10:00 – 16:00

Venue: 36 Biccard St, Polokwane Central, Polokwane, Limpopo, 0699 (https://goo.gl/maps/Nt48bCxEHukYtbAm8)

For more information about the case, including a link to our Heads of Arguments, visit this link: https://section27.org.za/2021/05/plan-to-eradicate-limpopo-school-pit-toilets-by-2030-unacceptable-and-unconstitutional/

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For media queries, contact:

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

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