The next phase of the norms and standards campaign is the implementation of these regulations. This is the most important part of the campaign because it is of no use to have excellent policies if they cannot be implemented and felt at ground level.
The implementation phase of the campaign will be known as the Michael Komape Norms & Standards Implementation Campaign. Michael Komape was a five year old boy who had just begun attending the Mahlodumela Primary School in Limpopo province. He died by falling into a pit toilet. This tragedy was covered in the media (see here, here and here) but as Mark Heywood has written, Michael Komape has been almost forgotten. Michael died on 21 January 2013. Our campaign will now attempt to honour him and to ensure that such injustices are prevented in future.
So far we have been doing the following:
- Accessing the infrastructure backlog lists from all nine provinces (in a few instances using the Promotion of Access to Information Act). These are schools that do not meet the requirements of the norms and standards. These are all the schools without water and electricity, fencing, toilets, mud schools etc.
- These lists were requested as a step towards the implementation plans that every province is required to publish by 29 November 2014. We have been engaging with some provinces, notably the Eastern Cape, in this regard.
- We co-hosted a conference on 14 and 15 July 2014 with SECTION27, the LRC and the EELC. This conference brought different stakeholders together collectively to understand the challenge of implementing the norms and standards, and to plan ways to minitor and ensure that the norms and standards would be implemented. Provincial and national government attended the conference and participated meaningfully.