Two children’s rights organisations say the failure to deliver food at schools in KwaZulu-Natal is a gross violation of the learners’ constitutional right to nutrition.
Equal Education and Equal Education Law Centre are calling for urgent action to prevent a similar collapse of the National School Nutrition Programme in future.
Food has not been delivered to some of the schools in the province since the start of the second term three weeks ago.
The Provincial Education Department has intervened in the restoration of the supply of food to most schools but deliveries at some schools are insufficient.
Equal Education spokesperson Jay-Dee Cyster says the nutrition programme has helped improve learners’ school attendance.
Cyster says, “We, therefore, urge the department to act quickly to resolve the issue so that food delivery can resume to all qualifying learners. While we welcome the interim action taken by the KZNDOE to prevent learners in affected schools from going without food, the Department of Basic Education must move quickly with its investigation to guarantee it never occurs again. We will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the NSP is fully restored.”
VIDEO: Provincial Secretary of Sadtu KZN, Nomarashiya Caluza on delivery of food to schools:
Centralised procurement system
On Tuesday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said she supports a centralised procurement system as it gives the contractors the opportunity to negotiate prices.
Motshekga said although the centralised system has failed in KwaZulu-Natal, it has the potential to save costs if implemented correctly.
“The direction that the province was taking is the correct direction. We’ve encountered problems. It’s the process that we embarked on, as we are going in the right direction, but central procurement is what, as the minister, I would advocate that provinces should go for. I’ve raised it with the Treasury into a Verizon Treasury to say, if you have got to get the economies of scale, is the effects of COVID with the price hikes and your budget cuts, the only way is to look at another delivery model that will help us for the economies of scale, which is what the province was doing. Unfortunately, we came through the difficult thing that we came through, but that’s our commitment to go for central procurement.”
Original Story by www.sabcnews.com
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