South Africa


Deadline for public to comment on education minimum norms and standards extended

Deadline for public to comment on education minimum norms and standards extended
A learner in a class in Zanokhanyo Junior Secondary School in Butterworth, Eastern Cape. In July 2019 parents shut down the school because it was falling down. (Archive photo: Sababaliwe Dadaboshe)

Schools with inadequate and unsafe sanitation are scheduled to receive appropriate toilets next year, says government.

The Department of Basic Education has extended the closing date for submissions on the amendments to the minimum norms and standards for public school infrastructure to 31 July.

The decision comes after Equal Education (EE) and Equal Education Law Centre (EELC) wrote a letter to the department condemning its proposed changes to the department’s Norms and Standards for Public School Infrastructure regulations.

Under these new draft amendments, the deadlines for when the government must eradicate pit latrines and provide basic services like water, electricity, and classrooms have been removed. This has angered education activists who are concerned it is a way for the department to avoid implementing these services indefinitely.

The department said the proposed amendments were made after consultations with the Minister of Finance and the provincial education ministers earlier this year.

On Wednesday, EE and EELC alongside Section27, Lawyers for Human Rights, the Legal Resources Centre, Centre for Child Law and the Children’s Institute sent another letter to the department urging it to extend the closing date for public submissions on its “drastic proposed changes” to the infrastructure regulations. The deadline was initially set for 10 July.

On Thursday, the activist groups also protested outside Parliament and condemned the department for failing to publish the document on its website and social media platforms to make the public aware of its proposed changes.

Meanwhile, the education department said it has made “great strides” in its efforts to provide appropriate sanitation facilities for schools in the country.

The Sanitation Appropriate For Education (Safe) initiative was launched in 2018 by President Cyril Ramaphosa, and targets schools where sanitation is inadequate or unsafe.

There are currently 3,407 schools on this programme, and sanitation projects at 2,006 of these schools have progressed to “practical completion” and provided a full set of appropriate toilets at the schools, the department said in a statement.

The sanitation projects at the remaining schools are scheduled to be completed in 2022/23, the statement read. DM

First published by GroundUp.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.