Another school nutrition programme crisis looms in Eastern Cape

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Another national school nutrition programme crisis is emerging, this time in the Eastern Cape. The pupils, who depend on the programme, often for their only meals of the day, had a tough month since schools re-opened.

Thousands of learners went without a daily meal since the 12th of April due to administrative issues linked to the payment to schools and service providers.

Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament under the Education Portfolio Committee, Yusuf Cassim, says the Eastern Cape Education Department is struggling to pay suppliers.

He however says the problem in the province appears to be worse than the one in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The depth of the problem in the Eastern Cape is much worse than in KwaZulu-Natal. In KwaZulu-Natal, we’re looking at over 500 schools, in the Eastern Cape we are looking at 4 982 schools that are affected across the province. The reason that the department has given is that it was unable to verify the number of learners and their details. They were not captured into the system in order to make these payments.”

Cassim elaborates in the video below: 

Last month, the school nutrition programme debacle played out in KwaZulu-Natal, where food was not delivered to over 5 000 schools in the province.

Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, confirmed that her department had cancelled a contract of more than R2-billion for the delivery of food at schools in KwaZulu-Natal. The controversial contract had been awarded to a single service provider, Pacina Retail.

In the video below, a report on the food crisis in Eastern Cape schools: