KZN education department food scheme supply backfires, DBE probes feeding scheme

Published Apr 23, 2023


The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has launched an investigation into the national school nutrition programme (NSNP) tender in KwaZulu Natal after reports emerged that feeding in some schools was not taking place and where it took place, inadequate food was supplied.

This comes after food supplier failed to deliver food items on the first day of school in the second term. Pupils went hungry on the day.

The DBE Minister, Angie Motshekga, wrote a letter to the KZN MEC Mbali Frazer on Friday, demanding answers on all documents related to the tender and all information that the procurement was above board.

The letter reminded Frazer that she has the mandate over the scheme since it is grant-funded.

“I wish to remind you that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has a mandate to manage and implement the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP), in cooperation with the Provincial Education Departments.

“The NSNP Conditional Grant Framework, as gazetted in the Division of Revenue Act of 2022, stipulates stringent feeding requirements to ensure that the beneficiaries, i.e., our learners, are provided with nutritious meals on all school days.

“The provision of daily meals to targeted learners, especially the most vulnerable learners, aims to enhance their learning capacity for optimal participation in school curricular.

“This is critical towards meeting the 'basic right to food and nutrition' as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,” the letter read.

Despite the DBE’s probe, the KZN premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has also ordered an full investigation into the roll-out of the school feeding scheme in the province.

The investigation will included the food distribution model, quantity and quality of the food supplied to 5,444 schools that are beneficiary of the programme across the province.

Dube-Ncube said their aim is to ensure that all 2.4 million pupils in quintiles 1 to 3 and some quintile 4 and 5 schools, continue to be provided with balanced healthy and nutritious daily meals.

“The grant allocation for the 2023/2024 financial year amounts to R2.1bn, which demonstrates our commitment as a government to ensure that children in schools do not go hungry,” she said.

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