Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will today hand over 42 toilets to the Ubuhle-Bemvelo Primary School in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal.
29 schools in Gauteng and 15 in the Western Cape are made of asbestos, and from today these schools can go to court to force the government to rebuild them.
Department of basic education is confident that the new schools currently being built will adhere to the norms and standards for school infrastructure.
The department of basic education is confident that the new schools currently being built will adhere to the norms and standards for school infrastructure, despite it having missed the deadline to publish them last week.
Advocacy group Equal Education asked the department to adopt the norms and standards, and even took Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to court. But the two parties reached a settlement shortly before their case was due to be heard in the Bhisho High Court in Eastern Cape.
After Motshekga missed the deadline, Equal Education gave her a month’s extension to June 15, but she has instead asked for a six-month extension.
The draft norms and standards were published in January. In a letter to Equal Education, Motshekga said:“I agreed to the extension in order to allow as many individuals and organisations as possible to comment on the regulations.
“Almost without exception, the comments were very critical of the regulations. “Furthermore, as l also indicated in my letter of May 9 2013, the consultation process involving Nedlac (the National Economic Development and Labour Council) has not been concluded, and I am waiting for its final report and will then consider its recommendations.”
Equal Education’s spokeswoman Kate Wilkinson said: “The department needs to be asked if they will go back and re-do the schools if they do not adhere to the norms and standards because they are not published yet.”
She said the group would have a meeting today to decide whether to grant the six-month extension or not.
Motshekga’s spokeswoman Hope Mokgathle said: “We are confident that the schools we are opening adhere to the norms and standards we are going to publish. “All schools are supposed to have a library, administrative block, toilets and all the other things. “There won’t not be a need to re-do the schools.”
According to Equal Education, more than 90% of public schools have no libraries, almost 2500 have no water supply, 46% still use pit latrines and 913 have no toilets at all.
Equal Education is planning marches on June 17 at Parliament and in Pretoria to either celebrate the publication of the norms and standards, or their return to court if it has not been published.