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President Ramaphosa launches SAFE Sanitation for schools

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has launched a public-private partnership that will provide innovative, safe ablution facilities at nearly 4 000 mostly rural and township schools.
The Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative is a partnership between government, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the National Education Collaboration Trust, and to which the private sector has been invited to contribute.
In his keynote address at the launch of SAFE in Pretoria today, Tuesday 14 August 2018, President Ramaphosa said the initiative was a response to “an urgent human need”.
“We are here to ask you to be part of a bold social initiative to ensure that every school in the country has safe and appropriate sanitation facilities,” said the President.
“This is an initiative that will save lives and restore the dignity of tens of thousands of our nation’s children, as our Constitution demands.
“SAFE will spare generations of young South Africans the indignity, discomfort and danger of using pit latrines and other unsafe facilities in our schools.
“Schools should be places where children can be safe, supported, nurtured and empowered.”
South Africa has nearly 4 000 schools that only have pit latrines or other inappropriate sanitation facilities.
President Ramaphosa said SAFE was a response to an emergency that had claimed the lives of children such as five-year-old Michael Komape in Limpopo in 2014 and Lumka Mkethwa in the Eastern Cape in March this year.
The President invited international agencies, the private sector and non-governmental organisations to support the SAFE initiative and called on companies to help construct models of new-technology toilets as a core component of the plan for each school.
Companies are also invited to adopt groups of schools as model schools for joint sanitation-water-energy off-grid solutions.
President Ramaphosa said the new initiative was a demonstration of how partners could collaborate in responding to urgent challenges.
Media enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to the President, on 072 854 5707

Issued by: The Presidency