The Limpopo education department has set aside R1.1 billion to address the chronic shortage of sanitation.
But this comes in the midst of the department facing lawsuits in excess of R728 million.
The province has a total of 3 818 schools, most of which are located in far-flung rural settlements, farms and semi-urban areas.
The provincial department said the R1.1 billion had been set aside to ensure most schools in the province had toilets before the end of this year.
“Of the budget, about R456 million has been used to build 41% of the toilets in the province’s schools,” spokesperson Ngaledzani Rasila said.
But the department faces serious uphill battles.
The family of six-year-old Michael Komape, who died after falling into a pit toilet at school in 2015, is suing the department for R3.1 million.
This was among the seven other cases, which included teachers accused of assaulting pupils, with claims ranging from R2.2 million to a whopping R95.7 million demanded by a private learning company.
DA MP Jacques Smalle lambasted MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe, saying: “This shows beyond any shadow of a doubt the department is irresponsible. If not careful, the cashless department will soon become as poor as a church mouse.”