Pacina Retail dumps R2.1 billion KwaZulu-Natal schools’ nutrition tender

Pacina Retail has written to Frazer’ department to say it was pulling out. sPicture by: Sibonelo Ngcobo

Pacina Retail has written to Frazer’ department to say it was pulling out. sPicture by: Sibonelo Ngcobo

Published Apr 26, 2023


Durban - Pacina Retail (Pty) LTD, the company that won the now doomed R2.1 billion tender has decided to pull out with immediate effect, but there are conditions.

The company told the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education its pull-out was on condition it was paid all the costs it had incurred so far while distributing food.

In a letter seen by IOL and confirmed by sources close to Manzini Zungu, the director of Pacina, the company told the department’s head of department (HoD), Nkosinathi Ngcobo, that it was throwing in the towel.

The letter read:

“Dear Mr Ngcobo HOD,

“This email serves to confirm that we as Pacina Retail Pty LTD (sic) have decided to opt out of the NSNP (National School Nutrition Programme) Tender paid by the Department of Education KwaZulu Natal.

“The details of this will follow.

“Thanks and kind regards,

“‘Manzini Zungu, CEO,” reads Manzini’s letter.

The letter was sent on Wednesday amid challenges with the programme which includes schools that had not received their foodstuff, some schools had not received the full stock while others received rotten and expired food items.

The Department of Education in the province is yet to officially confirm the pull out and whether it was accepting the proposals by Zungu and Pacina.

On the same day of the proposed pull out, the spokesperson of the SIU (Special Investigating Unit), Kaizer Kganyago, confirmed to IOL they had written to the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education to request more information about the R2.1 billion schools' nutrition tender.

He said they would use that information to determine whether to motivate for a proclamation to investigate the matter or not.

The ANC in KZN called for the contract to be terminated immediately.

It added the department must approach the high court on an urgent basis and make the termination order of the court.

“Therefore after the ANC has evaluated all relevant material facts it has come to a determination that there are serious breaches resulting in the nullity of the NSPS contract.

“The ANC has therefore directed its government to take urgent remedial action to restore the programme that will result in schools getting all the necessary food items based on the specified menu for all five days in a week.

“These remedial action(s) must include but are not limited to the following:

“1. That the current contract must be terminated immediately within the framework of the Service Level Agreement;

“2. That the Department must approach the High Court on urgent basis seeking that this termination be made an order of the court;

“3. We are firm in our position that the more than R2.1 billion allocated for NSNP must be used to drive entrepreneurship revolution and stimulate local economic development.

“Therefore a more district or local-wide food distribution model be explored as a matter of urgency to ensure that all learners in schools are supplied with food,” the party said in a statement.

Moreover, the party told the provincial government that in five days times, all schools should have food.

“The ANC is directing its government to make sure that by Tuesday 2nd May 2023 every school in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal has enough food for the whole month of May 2023,” it said in a statement read out by its provincial secretary. Bheki Mtolo.

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