World Toilet Day - 60% of people don’t have access to clean, safe sanitation... but this SA brand is making a real positive difference!
Photo Cred: Polity

The pledge was met with resounding positivity, with many South Africans offering donations and their time to assist in ending the pit latrine crisis and building proper toilet facilities at our government schools.


South Africa (28 March 2023) – A South African businessman has just pledged R100,000 to try to put an end to pit latrines in South Africa.

Mark Barnes, a well-known South African businessman, tweeted the pledge after news that another child tragically died in a pit latrine shocked the nation. Langalam Viki was just four-year-old.

Barnes is best known for his work in the financial services industry, having held various positions at Investec Bank, Sanlam, and the South African Reserve Bank. In 1999, he co-founded the financial services group Net1, which became one of the largest providers of payment solutions in Africa but it is his philanthropic work that shines a bright light on his big heart. The passionate South African is a founder of the Reach for a Dream Foundation, which helps fulfil the dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses.

The South African businessman first pleaded with the government to end the pit latrine crisis and then an hour later pledged R100,000, asking other citizens to help as well.

“I’ll contribute R100000 and a day’s manual labour if enough others join me to make this happen?!”

The tweet was met with some negativity around the lack of help from our government but resounding positivity, with many South Africans offering donations and their time to assist in building proper toilet facilities at our public schools.

The lack of proper toilets in South African public schools is a serious issue that affects the health and dignity of learners. The South African government has acknowledged the problem and has committed to addressing it through various initiatives aimed at improving infrastructure and increasing funding to schools. However, progress has been slow, and more needs to be done to ensure that all learners have access to safe and hygienic toilets at school.

According to the South African Human Rights Commission, over 40 learners have died in pit latrines since 2014.

Barnes hopes to put an end to this tragic situation. Hopefully, other South Africans will heed his call.

If you would like to get in touch with Mark Barnes on Twitter or add your voice to the conversation, please click here.

Source: Twitter 
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Have something to add to this story? Please share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens, or share your good news with us by clicking here or click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes there’s good news around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *