President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for a plan to eradicate unsafe school ablution facilities.
This comes after five-year-old Viwe Jali fell into the toilet at the Luna Primary School in Bizana, Eastern Cape on Tuesday.
Ramaphosa has directed Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga to conduct an audit of all learning facilities with unsafe structures, especially unsafe ablution facilities, within a month.
It is said that Minister Motshekga will then present the audit to President Ramaphosa with a plan to rectify the challenges, as an emergency interim measure while rolling out proper infrastructure, within three months.
The death of Viwe is devastating for her community and the country. The nation still mourns the loss of young Michael Komape under similar tragic circumstances in 2014.
President Ramaphosa expressed his condolences to Viwe’s family and relatives on their devastating loss.
He also expressed his grave concern about the safety of facilities in schools, especially when it comes to a lack of decent ablution facilities.
“The plan to eliminate unsafe ablution facilities will be participatory, with civil society being consulted. To this end, he further welcomes input by civil society organizations who continue to champion the struggle for safe and decent school infrastructure,” Ramaphosa said.