President applauds private sector support for schools sanitation
14 August 2018
President Cyril Ramaphosa is heartened by the response of the private sector – in the form of pledges of funding and the provision of professional and technical services – to the launch of a public-private partnership that will provide innovative, safe ablution facilities at nearly 4 000 mostly rural and township schools.
Earlier today, President Ramaphosa launched the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative in Pretoria. This is a partnership between government, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the National Education Collaboration Trust, to which the President invited the private sector to contribute.
Following government’s appeal to the private sector, various companies and professional organisations pledged monetary contributions totaling at least R45 million, as well as the pro bono provision of professional and technical services that will enable the implementation of SAFE projects. As part of this infrastructure drive, companies will help build models of new-technology toilets as a core component of the plan for each school, or adopt groups of schools as model schools for joint sanitation-water-energy off-grid solutions.
Welcoming pledges made at the launch event, President Ramaphosa said: “I applaud, on behalf of the children of our nation, our partners in the private sector for responding so urgently and generously to an initiative that will be equally appreciated by future generations of learners.
“This is good corporate citizenship and social compacting in action; and this is how, together, we create a better life for all South Africans, and in this particular instance, for learners at and communities surrounding rural and poor schools.”
Among the partners who made financial and service pledges today were Avbob, Intsika, Lonmin, Anglo American, Indigo Kulani Group, Unilever, the United Nations Children’s Fund, Sasol, the Industrial Development Corporation, the South African Institute of Architects, Tile Africa and Amalooloo.
In his keynote address at the launch, President Ramaphosa said the initiative was a response to “an urgent human need” and would “spare generations of young South Africans the indignity, discomfort and danger of using pit latrines and other unsafe facilities in our schools”.
South Africa has nearly 4 000 schools that only have pit latrines or other inappropriate sanitation facilities.
Issued by Khusela Diko, Spokesperson, The Presidency, 15 August 2018