Dear Editor

Toilets in schools are often neglected by the School.

On a recent unannounced visit to several schools in Mitchells Plain I found that the toilets in Tafelsig, Oval North, Lentegeur were not in good condition.

Government does not have the resources to be in a permanent maintenance mode. Schools need to take responsibility and also ensure that toilets are locked after school to ensure vandals don’t have access to it.

At Portland High School an initiative led by Mrs Farieda Moses (Chairperson of the School Governing Body) shows what can be done if leaders take the task into their own hands.

They formed the “I am possible club”. This club consisted of learners from the school who firstly brained stormed and then initiated practices that ensured that their school toilets remained in pristine condition at all times. The club had a duty roster to ensure that toilets were permanently monitored and cleaned when found dirty.

They formed a relationship with Sulabh International, the world’s largest Sanitation NGO, which was founded in India in 1970 to address India’s sanitation crisis and has since expanded its school sanitation programme to several countries including South Africa.

The success of the ‘I am possible club’ led to learners from Portlands High School being selected to be part of the South African delegation to an International School Sanitation Conference in India, where the objective of the conference was to establish a Global Sanitation Club to share best practises and collaborate to address School Sanitation challenges

Portland High School should stand as an example for how other schools can solve their ablution facilities problems.

I would like to congratulate these learners on their exemplary achievement. I also commend them on their commitment to sharing best practice with neighbouring schools.

Ricardo Mackenzie
Member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament
DA Constituency Head for Mitchells Plain 1