SADTU KwaZulu Natal is noting with grave concern the unfortunate
circumstances that most schools find themselves in with regards to the non
delivery of food items for the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) since
the beginning of the 2nd term of the 2023 academic year.

The 31st of March 2023 marked the end of the contract between the
Department of Education and various service providers who had been
contracted to supply food items in schools that are in excess of 5000 that were
the beneficiaries of the NSNP throughout the Province.

The new contractors were appointed through the supply chain management
processes of the Department, and they were expected to start supplying food
to schools during the recess of the first term in order to ensure that multitudes
of learners are ensured of their meals come the first day of schooling in the 2 nd
term. However, that was not the case as almost all schools that were supposed
to receive food did not.

The initiation of the NSNP was necessitated by the unfortunate economic
conditions that our learners are exposed to; especially those coming from rural,
township and informal settlements schools. It was meant to mitigate learning
challenges which are secondary challenges to economic challenges.

Learners and parents have appreciated the NSNP over the years as we know
that a lot of families who are living under difficult conditions as a res ult of
poverty and unemployment, would not afford to provide midday meals for
their children attending school which would subsequently force children to
drop out of school because of starvation.

When the Covid 19 pandemic was at its peak, it must be remembered that the
schools were supposed to continue providing meals to those children even
when they were not attending any school. As SADTU in the Province, we never
stood opposed to this as we clearly understood the compelling reasons to
continue supporting learners with such meals as we knew that, that was the
only nutritious meal for most, if not all of these learners could get a day.

SADTU in the Province vehemently stands opposed against this unfortunate
situation that our schools are finding themselves in; not only because it impacts
negatively on the curriculum delivery at schools, but because again it impacts
negatively on the dignity and the rights of learners in schools. It puts Principals,
SMTs, educators and School Governing Bodies in a dilemma whether to open
or not to schools as the difficulty of teaching starving children mounts every

SADTU is again disturbed by the fact that we see neither action nor any
immediate commitment from the Department in the Province to address this
crisis. This w \e say because even after numerous calls were made with the
Senior Management of the Department and numerous reports that schools
were required to submit in relation to this problem, schools continue not to
receive food. Schools continue to receive inadequate food supply and those
that receive such, it’s sub standard food that is not suitable for human
consumption, especially perishable items. Many schools indicated that even
when they receive food items, they are unable to prepare meals as they do
not receive gas which must be used to cook the food.

SADTU KZN is of a strong view that something went wrong in the appointment
of the service provider considering conditions under which the supply is made.
The challenges emanating from the delivery and collection of food items are
concerning to SADTU and the broader society and we have a reason to worry
as that impacts directly on the delivery of quality public education that as
SADTU we have committed to. We are on record, so many times as SADTU
calling for the N SNP to be handled directly by SGBs. If that was the case,
problems such as these would be avoided and there would be no school that
would have not been able to feed their children. This is what the policy on
NSNP provides for and this was ignored in awarding the tender differently.

SADTU, as a revolutionary union in the education sector, shall continue to
engage the Department of Education in the Province for a quick and
permanent solution to this problem so that order can be restored in schools
which will then lead to the restoration of the dignity of the child in the

To this end SADTU KZN supports the intervention that has been made by the
Minister to conduct the investigation on this matter. We also support the
investigation initiated by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU)so that whatever
might not have gone well, be exposed and those that should answer, do so.
Any act of misconduct and criminality (if any) must be brought to the surface
so that this is put to rest, and we focus on providing education as we are
supposed to do.

Further, we call for the immediate cancellation of the current tender and for
the Department to embark on a credible and transparent process to allocate
the funds directly to schools.

SADTU takes pride on her members who have gone an extra mile to organize
resources on their own to ensure that learners in schools are fed under these
conditions. We continue encourage to our members to continue to do so as
we know that our founding principle as a union is not limited to matters of
workers’ bread and butter issues, but to address all matters that impact
education so as to ensure a totally educated citizenry.


Issued by KZN SADTU Secretariat
Nomarashiya Caluza (Provincial Secretary) 082 611 7027
Jabulani Nxumalo (Deputy Provincial Secretary) 082 611 7028