An Eastern Cape schoolboy has luckily escaped with his life after falling into an old latrine at the Lutholi Junior Secondary School in Sibagweni village, 10km north from Mthatha, on Monday.
The 6-year-old boy sustained only bruises and scratches when he fell into the abandoned pit toilet on the school premises. Covered in faeces, he was retrieved from the hole with the assistance of his schoolmates and teachers.
The parents have already complained that the learners had to use the exposed holes in the ground for years while others had to relieve themselves in an open field near the school.
“I am deeply hurt by this whole thing,” the Grade 1 pupil’s grandmother sighed.
“My grandchild came home bruised and when I asked how it happened the teachers apologised. I had to bathe him again. He was angry and did not go to school the following day. The department of education must build proper toilets for our children in rural communities. We do not like to see our children suffer like this.”
Addressing multiple complaints, Eastern Cape education department spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima confirmed the incident. He advised that R3.7 million had already been allocated towards upgrading the school, its fencing and sanitation.
“The department is aware of this and as such we had appointed a contractor to do major renovations that include ablution facilities and fencing at the school,” he claimed.