KZN education authorities probe local school's rotten food allegations

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Apr 7, 2021

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Education authorities in KwaZulu Natal are investigating allegations that pupils in Ziphembeleni Secondary School in Inanda, north-west of Durban, are fed rotten food.

Muzi Mahlambi, a spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, said MEC Kwazi Mshengu had directed officials to investigate the allegations of pupils being fed rotten food distribution at the school as part of the National Schools Nutrition Programme.

Mahlambi said the department had received a video showing a 5kg samp pack with dark spots.

He said the department regrets the situation and they would take the appropriate action on the matter.

Mahlambi told IOL that no child had yet reported to be sick as a result of the alleged rotten food.

He was, however, unable to name the service provider to the school in question and said this would form part of their fact finding mission.

“We will not hesitate to take drastic actions against the service provider,” said Mahlambi.

In a similar incident, last week about 203 pupils from MH Baloyi Secondary School in Winterveldt, Tshwane, were rushed to various medical facilities after a suspected food poisoning.

According to the Gauteng education department, pupils allegedly consumed food during break time.

The school day ended without any pupil complaining about a stomach bug, however, the following day they all said they were unable to sleep due to the stomache pains.

The National Schools Nutrition Programme is the government programme tasked to provide one nutritious meal to all learners in primary and secondary schools.

A contract is handed to company’s that can either cook and distribute the food to the schools or sometimes the supplier distributes the food and the school gets people to cook the meals for the children.

The food diet includes protein (soya, fish, eggs, milk, sour milk, beans and lentils), fresh fruit and vegetable, and carbohydrate/starch.

A variety of protein is served per week. Soya should not be served more than twice a week. Fats/oil, salt and flavourants are added to make the meals tasty. Fresh vegetable or fruit should be served daily.

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