R68 000 for a toilet in Mpumalanga schools

By Jane Sithole MPL, DA Mpumalanga Premier Candidate

The DA has written to the Public Protector requesting an investigation into the awarding of school sanitation tenders by the Mpumalanga Department of Education.

This, after it emerged that Education MEC, Sibusiso Malaza could be paying as much as R68 000 per toilet through the Mpumalanga Regional Training Trust (MRTT) in provincial schools.

Please click here for MRTT’s 4th quarterly report.

The Department recently appointed MRTT as the implementing agent to construct waterborne toilets at a cost of R3.4 million. 16 toilets where built at Mpumelelo Primary School and another 16 toilets where built ay Sihlangu Primary School, both school are located in in Nkomazi Local Municipality. A further 18 toilets were built at JB Khoza Primary School in Bushbuckridge.

During a recent DA oversight inspection at Mpumelelo and Sihlangu Primary Schools, we found that the plastic fittings used were flimsy and were unlikely to withstand daily use by hundreds of learners. From our observation, it was unlikely that these fittings could be associated with a R68 000 toilet.

The urinals installed in these toilets were small and looked unlikely to have cost the service provider anything close to the Departments R68 000. See pictures above and below.

Further DA research has revealed that the cost to install a water-less toilet is estimated at a maximum of R32 000 per toilet, meaning that the Department of Education could be paying more than double for the exact same item.

School sanitation in Mpumalanga continues to be a problem as thousands of learners still use unsafe pit toilets and dilapidated structures to relieve themselves while at school but the failing ANC government continues to use the plight of disadvantage learners as a platform for corruption.

The public protector is currently reviewing the DA’s complaint but we will continue to monitor the situation as far too many learners are compromised by the ANC-led government’s mismanagement of public funds.

Only a DA led government bring real change to the people of Mpumalanga, change that build One South Africa for All, where money meant for the people is spent on the people.

Ends,

For media enquires contact:

Buchule Putini

Provincial Communications Officer

084 429 3675