A total of 340 000 Eastern Cape learners attend a school without proper toilets everyday, and in some cases there are no toilets at all.
This is according to data obtained by the Democratic Alliance from the Education Department.
Official Education Department data pins the number of schools without proper sanitation at 109.
The total cost of the toilet backlog in Eastern Cape schools is R380 million.
“The Education Department budget must accommodate the R380 million backlog to restore the dignity of these students without delay:, said Edmund Van Vuuren from the Democratic Alliance.
“This is a human rights violation on an unprecedented scale. Some schools like Chris Hani Public School in Lady Frere require as many as 44 toilets for their 1160 learners” added Van Vuuren.
The most affected districts are also the most disadvantaged – with Lusisiki (111 schools) and Mount Frere (215 schools) facing severe crises in sanitation.
While schools in Port Elizabeth and East London do have sanitation facilities, in many cases they are in such a poor condition that toilets cannot be used.
Billions are made available to fund Eastern Cape education every year and there is no reason why these backlogs could not have been addressed up until now.
Instead millions are wasted every year on maladministration while the dignity of hundreds of thousands of children in the Eastern Cape is undermined on a daily basis.