Johannesburg - The chairperson of the portfolio committee, Sifiso Sonjica, has demanded answers from the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department after thousands of learners across the province attended classes hungry on Wednesday due to the non-delivery of food to schools by service providers.
Nearly 5 400 schools could not receive their food last Wednesday as some food suppliers could not deliver the required food stock to schools on the first day of the second term, while some schools were forced to ration after the food that was brought was not sufficient to cater for all pupils.
One of the challenges that the suppliers faced arose when they were sent to collect the food from one of the prominent food retailers in Durban and were turned back.
After meeting with the provincial Education Department regarding the non-delivery of food, Sonjica said there were logistical challenges on the part of the main service provider, leading to the non-delivery of food items to some schools.
According to Sonjica, the MEC and the HOD made a commitment that the matter was being attended to and would be speedily resolved.
“The committee will closely monitor this commitment and wish to ensure the continued and uninterrupted nutritional programme in poor communities,” he said.
Despite the commitment by the Education Department, food challenges are expected to continue as suppliers start the week not knowing where to collect their foodstuff to be delivered to schools the following week.
This is due to the department changing its school nutrition tender by introducing a main supplier that would supply the smaller suppliers.