KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu plans to reduce the number of pit latrines at schools over the next few months.
Mshengu, speaking at a media briefing on Sunday, said Covid-19 had been disruptive as funds for other projects in the department had to be redirected to fund safety measures against the pandemic.
“We have been forced to purchase important, but expensive, items. And we are spending a lot of money on things that are not going to be legacy projects.
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“We are trying hard to leave some legacy projects, we did not want a waste of resources during this period,” he said.
The department is working on completely eradicating pit latrines in schools across the province.
“Covid-19 has forced more impetus and we have to work at a faster speed. Currently we have deployed chemical toilets in school where they are using pit latrines, it is a temporary measure but that is not sustainable. The amount we are paying could be used to build proper structures,” said Mshengu.
He said there were 1 300 schools in the province that required proper structures and the latest report received two weeks ago showed the department had already built proper toilets in 300 schools and aimed to have built 600 more by December.
Dangerous pit latrines have claimed the lives of school children in various parts of the country.