Date: February 12, 2020

Get rid of the stink! Eradicate pit toilets in our schools now!

There are still over 3,900  schools in South Africa where illegal plain pit toilets are in use, displaying a continued disregard for the basic human rights of learners. 

These pit toilets not only violate the right to sanitation, which is enshrined in the Constitution, but also the right to health, education, dignity, privacy, and in some cases pose a serious risk to the right to life.

Sadly, in April 2024, yet another child, three-year-old Unecebo Mboteni, drowned in a pit toilet. Meanwhile, just over a million children in South Africa continue to be exposed to physical and health risks on a daily basis.

The Department of Basic Education has repeatedly moved the deadline for eradicating plain pit toilets which would ensure that all schools have proper and safe sanitation facilities. It now plans to eradicate these pit toilets by 2025. We need to continue putting pressure on the government to ensure that they do not miss yet another deadline while the country’s children continue to pay the price.

Sign the petition. Keep the government accountable for eradicating illegal plain pit toilets from all schools in South Africa by the end of 2024. 



To be Eradicated

Click each province to view the number of schools with pit toilets. Alternatively you can switch to list view.

*Figures were updated on 13 September 2023, based on information provided by the Department of Basic Education in its Education Facility Management System (EFMS) Report. Of a total of 22,597 school sites, 3,932 schools still use pit toilets (one site can have more than one type of ablution facility; 728 schools have pits only).