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WATCH: IFP steps in to provide food for struggling Durban schools, ANCYL to conduct urgent audit

IFP provincial leader in KwaZulu-Natal Thami Ntuli speaking to learners and teachers at Lindelani on Friday. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

IFP provincial leader in KwaZulu-Natal Thami Ntuli speaking to learners and teachers at Lindelani on Friday. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

Published Apr 21, 2023


Durban - As the debacle around the R2 billion KwaZulu-Natal schools' nutrition takes a toll on poor learners and schools, political parties have stepped in to lend a helping hand.

This effort comes as several schools in the Zululand, Uthukela and Umkhanyakude districts in the north of the province insist that they are yet to receive their food stock.

Other schools in districts that have received theirs claim that they were given rotten stock, and some are claiming they have been given small quantities of food packs.

On Friday, the chairperson of the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal, Thami Ntuli, led his party’s delegation to donate foodstuff at Mandlenkosi Secondary School in Lindelani, an impoverished neighbourhood in the north of Durban.

The school is named after Mandlenkosi Shabalala, a late stalwart of the IFP who lived in the area and turned it into the party’s stronghold.

The value of the donation was not disclosed, but among the foodstuffs were fruits, vegetables and tinned fish.

Speaking to learners after delivering the truckload of donations, Ntuli said they felt they should step in so that learners could have food for some weeks.

“Some learners stay behind and study until late. Some learners are on medication that requires them to eat before taking it.

“Worse of all, we have learners who come from homes that are not well off, and they depend on these meals.

“It was for this reason that we came here to donate. Education matters should concern all of us,” Ntuli told the learners and teachers.

IFP spokesperson on education, MPL, Thembeka Madlopha-Mthethwa, said the only way to salvage the crumbling KwaZulu-Natal schools feeding scheme is to start it afresh.

She said it's unheard of that one person can handle such a huge task.

“What we are saying is that they should convene again and start fresh processes regarding this scheme.

“Unless that is done, our children are still going to go hungry,” Madlopha-Mthethwa said.

The principal of the school, Lunga Mthethwa, said he was grateful for the donation, adding that the situation was bad last week as learners were in tears because of hunger following the delivery debacle.

‘’This donation is going to go a long way to help the school,’’ Mthethwa said.

Meanwhile, following Thursday's urgent meeting, the ANC youth league in KZN has sent out regional secretaries and branches to visit all schools and check whether food has been delivered.

If yes, they should check whether it's in good condition to feed learners or whether there is any expired food supplied to schools.

They should also check whether the schools have LP gas to cook for learners.

The structures have to submit reports of their findings to Mafika Mndebele, their provincial coordinator, by 6pm on Monday next week.

“As young people, you are called upon to ensure food security for learners. This is a responsibility you dare not delegate to others,” Mndebele instructed the structures in a letter sent out on Friday.

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