President Cyril Ramaphosa says he wants a tablet device for every pupil within six years, yet children in 4 000 schools across the country still use pit toilets.
Ramaphosa laid out his government's plans for the year in his 2019 State of the Nation Address on Thursday, touching on his ambitions for the basic education sector.
He said more than 700 000 children had accessed early childhood education in the last financial year, a sign that the government had established a firm foundation for a comprehensive early childhood development programme.
Improving comprehension, therefore, was paramount in advancing the basic education sector, starting from the foundation phase.
"Over the next six years, we will provide every school child in South Africa with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device," Ramaphosa said.
"We will start with those schools that have been historically most disadvantaged and are located in the poorest communities, including multi-grade, multi-phase, farm and rural schools.