Storm wipes out school toilets
Pupils at Gabigabi High School in Hammersdale, KwaZulu-Natal, are forced to hide behind walls when they need to use the toilet after heavy storms destroyed their classrooms and toilets over the school holidays.
This year the school has 900 pupils. Effective learning has not taken place since schools re-opened a week ago.
When Sowetan arrived at the school yesterday, several male pupils were relieving themselves behind the walls of what used to be their toilet block.
Female pupils had no choice but to use the toilets with cracked walls and open roofs. Some walked through the bushes to the school's old pit toilet block.
A female pupil said, unlike boys who can easily hide behind the wall, girls do not have a choice.
"These cracked walls can fall any time.
"Using these toilets is dangerous," she said.
The pupils said they were lucky that it had not rained in the last few days.
They said the toilets would be flooded, forcing them to relieve themselves in the bush.
Heavy rains on January 3 caused extensive damage to seven classrooms.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for education Ina Cronjé visited the school last week and delivered four mobile classrooms.
"These mobile classes will bring some relief because overcrowding was a problem," principal Themba Gumede said.
Department of education spokesman Mbali Thusi said mobile toilets that are going to be used in the meantime were on their way to the school.