The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng wants the Social Development Department to be consistent in distributing dignity packs to learners.

The party alleges that in 2020 over 17 000 Gauteng learners did not receive the packs that include sanitary towels, soap and toothpaste for girls and caps, sun-screen and lip-balm for learners living with albinism.

The DA’s Refiloe Nt’sekhe says, “The Department of Social Development in Gauteng seems to consistently fail the youth of Gauteng. During the December holidays, girl children did not receive pads.”

“I once again say to South Africans, girls do not stop menstruating just because it’s school holidays or we are on lockdown. The fact that a list was provided to the Department of Social Development and nothing happened, it’s a shame for this government that our girl children will continue to miss school or will continue to be treated with indignity because they have not received these very much needed dignity packs,” added Nt’sekhe.

DA called for an investigation into irregularities in sanitary pads procurement in KZN

Last year, the DA in KwaZulu-Natal lodged a formal request with the Public Protector to investigate irregularities in the procurement of sanitary pads by the provincial Education Department.

The request came after a forensic report into the matter found that there was an over-supply of sanitary towels and that about R4 million worth of packs were never delivered to schools.

The forensic investigation was ordered by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in 2018.

DA Member of the Provincial Legislature Dr Imran Keeka said at the time that although certain officials were suspended, the party wants the Public Protector to conduct a thorough and wider investigation on the matter.

Keeka said, “I visited the offices of the Public Protector in Durban to hand over a forensic report to them that paints a picture of the involvement of several officials including HOD Dr. [Enock] Nzama for his alleged involvement in this entire R120 million tender procurement. I have also in my submission to the Public Protector asked them to look at the role of the former MEC for Education, because I believe that as a political head at that time, that he could not have been somebody who had been outside of the process and a Cabinet member responsible for the department.”

KZN Education Department’s Sanitary Pads Programme