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SAFE registers progress in addressing sanitation issues in public schools

Basic Education Minister, Mrs Angie Motshekga, officially handed over 22 toilets to Mahlungulu Primary School in the OR Tambo Inland District, Eastern Cape Province on 02 April 2019.

The new toilets were built by Amalooloo, a subsidiary of Betram, a company that designs and develops holistic, sustainable and ecologically friendly sanitation solutions. Amalooloo is one of the private donors working with the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative in providing decent sanitation to all school-going learners. Approximately 2,000 schools have insufficient sanitation facilities and require some form of refurbishments. In response to this emergency, President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the SAFE initiative during August 2018, pledging to eradicate all pit latrines within the next three years. In his Budget Speech, the Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni allocated R700 million for the 2019/20 financial year for this purpose.

During the hand-over event Minister Motshekga said: “As announced in President Ramaphosa's economic recovery plan speech during September 2018, approximately 1,150 sanitation projects are to be funded for the 2019/20 financial year. Since the launch of the SAFE initiative, 234 out of 3,898 projects have reached practical completion. In addition, 415 SAFE initiatives are being implemented in the current financial year through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI), as well as provincial infrastructure programmes. Outside of the SAFE initiative, a further 787 provincial sanitation projects are at practical and final completion stage”.

Minister Motshekga added: “Given the scale, and the fact that we are pressed for time, we are continuously mobilising all available resources. These include pledges from business, strategic partners and the construction industry to replace all unsafe toilets in public schools as a reminder of the important role that business continues to play in rebuilding our country. Building a new nation requires the collective capacity of its people, big business included”.

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