Michael Komape’s pit toilet death won’t be the last

The people running the department of education simply do not care enough to fix the problem.

This week brought some closure for the family of Michael Komape, the five-year-old boy who drowned in a pit toilet in Limpopo five years ago.

Despite a R1.4 million payout, his family will never have their child back, but they can take some comfort in knowing that their fight has shed some light on the callousness of the politicians who were meant to serve them and their children.

It has also refocused the attention on the pathetic state of SA’s schools and the lack of sanitation in general.

According to civil rights organisation Equal Education, there are still more than 6,000 schools countrywide with open pit latrines on their premises. More than 3,000 of these schools have no alternative toilets.

Just as they failed to even apologise to his family for Komape’s death, the department of education blatantly ignored requests for comment on their plans to resolve this shocking state of affairs.

They had previously said they would only be able to eradicate all pit toilets by 2026, citing a lack of funds. This despite the fact they had apparently underspent on their budget multiple times.

What this tells us is that they simply do not care enough to fix the problem.

And just like Michael wasn’t the first child to die in a pit latrine at school, he most likely won’t be the last.

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Michael Komape pit toilet