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Donations bring SAFE schools one step closer

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the money raised at the launch of the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative will assist government to eradicate pit latrines in schools.

Currently, there are 3 898 schools that require appropriate sanitation interventions and in many of these, reticulated water is not available.

“A portion of these will be dealt with in the current financial year, through provincial education budgets. However, in order to fast track the complete eradication of pit latrines in schools, [we] require more than government coffers can provide,” said Minister Motshekga.

The initiative was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Following the deaths of primary school pupils Michael Komape and Lumka Mkethwa, the President asked the Minister to fast track the roll-out of adequate sanitation in schools.

The event was attended by CEOs of corporate companies as well as prominent individuals.

President Ramaphosa explained government’s ongoing efforts thus far to provide appropriate sanita- tion to schools.

According to the Department of Basic Education, over R45 million was raised, while a number of pledges in the form of professional services were made.

Companies such as Avbob, Intsika, Anglo American, Lonmin, Unilever, Unicef, Sasol, Industrial Development Corporation, Indigo Kulani Group, SA Institute of Architects, Tile Africa and Amalooloo donated and pledged their support.

President Ramaphosa implored the business community to partner with the department through their corporate social investment initiatives and assist government in restoring dignity to children by eradicating pit latrines in schools.

“The SAFE initiative will spare generations of young South Africans the indignity, discomfort and danger of using pit latrines and other unsafe facilities in our schools. Schools should be places where children can be safe, supported, nurtured and empowered. “Given the overwhelming scale of backlogs and the current state of the economy, it is also clear that government cannot address this important basic human right without assistance from the pri- vate sector. It is for this reason we are launching the SAFE initiative,” he said.

He explained that through direct contributions to the SAFE initiative, companies can support the construction of models of new technology toilets, as a core component of the plan for each school.

Companies can adopt a group of schools as model schools for joint sanitation-water-energy off-grid solutions.

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