“Taps for basins to wash hands have no running water,” said 18-year-old Lwando Mtiyane. “They do not put out toilet paper (so) it becomes a problem to go the loo when nature calls.”
Fellow student Mthokozisi Nkosi, 17, said he agreed.
According to Nkosi, the poor state of the school’s sanitation leads many male students to avoid going to the bathroom, which may put students at an increased risk of urinary tract infections.
Monde Mhlongo, a 20-year-old student, also added that broken taps make it difficult for men to wash their hands after using the toilet and said he was worried about the risk of infections due to students’ inability to frequently wash their hands.
In an informal OurHealth survey, about 30 percent of male students at the school reported being unhappy with the state of the men’s toilets on campus.
Students say that they blame the Student Representative Council (SRC) in part for the situation.
“The biggest problem is that nobody addresses us about all these (student) structures that supposed to take care of such situations,” said student Lebogang Moloto. He added that the SRC’s health portfolio committee has never held a meeting to discuss the issue or hear student concerns.
Mpilo Thabethe from the school’s student support team says the school has yet to receive any formal complaints about sanitation. She promised to speak to the SRC health portfolio and that the school would ensure that toilets were fixed.
After the majority of class representatives failed to attend a follow-up meeting on the issue, student support centre staff member Tshepo Madubung said that the school would call a parent meeting on the issue. He added that the school has previously spent R400,000 to repair school toilets twice.