|2012 06 03 Hundreds of schools struggling|
Hundreds of schools in South Africa are operating without basic services such as water, electricity and sanitation.
One of the Department of Basic Education's targets is the eradication of 496 "inappropriate'" structures - mostly so-called "mud schools" in the Eastern Cape.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said in her budget speech recently that her department wanted to provide water to 1257 schools, sanitation to 868 and electricity to 878 through the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (Asidi).
Asidi has its own budget, to fast-track the provision and improvement of school infrastructure.
Another grant, the Education Infrastructure Grant, had an allocation, after adjustments, for the financial year of 2011/2012, of R5.7-billion, and had spent R5.2-billion by the end of the financial year in March. Its allocation for the 2012/2013 period, is R5.8-billion.
Advocacy group Equal Education has taken the department to court for failing to provide minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure.
It is demanding that the department formulate regulations that will set the basic level of infrastructure that every school must meet for it to function properly.
Equal Education has been campaigning since 2010 for the department to come up with such a policy.