Pit Latrines and the Rights of the Child
The continued use of pit latrines in largely rural schools has long been a matter of major concern. The Minister of Basic Education has repeatedly given assurances that they will be phased out. However, various reports indicate that there are about 4000 schools throughout the country where pit latrines remain the only form of sanitation. Provincial departments of education across the country have done little to remedy this situation. Both little Michael Komape from Limpopo and Lumka Mkhethwa from the Eastern Cape drowned in pit latrines. They were each five years old. Oratilwe Dilwane, who was also five years old, fell into a pit latrine in North West province. He swallowed excrement and was severely injured.