The free sanitary pad initiative by the humanitarian body is quite laudable and an advancement for SA schools . Schafer and Fritz say there are no concrete statistics available from their departments and they’re working on ascertaining how great the need is.

Lobby group Equal Education says it will continue pressuring government to make free sanitary pads available at schools.

Earlier this week, the Western Development Social  Development and Education Departments together with a non-governmental organisation (NGO) distributed 200 hygiene packs to a school in Gugulethu.

Both departments said there aren’t exact figures available on how great the need is in the province, but that the lack of sanitary pads has not been reported or raised as a major concern in Western Cape schools.

Equal Education says it has continuously demanded that the Western Cape government and national government prioritise the provision of free sanitary products.

It says this should be the norm much like providing textbooks and stationery.

The group adds it’s given social audit reports to Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer and her social development counterpart Albert Fritz which found that less than two-thirds of learners in 244 state schools in the province have access to sanitary pads at their learning institutions.

Both departments say they need help from national government, as well as NGOs and corporates.