The initiative taken by the Democratic Alliance to point out to the Eastern Cape MEC for Education that meal servers participating in the School Nutritional Plan (SNP) had not been paid for months on end, has resulted in a resolution agreed upon in the Provincial Legislature that payment will be done by no later than 11 December.

This follows questions for written reply by me to Education MEC Mahlubandile Qwase. It emerged that meals servers had been affected by changes in the government banking system from FNB to ABSA.

The department issued a memo on October 5, advising schools to pay the meal servers from their own financial resources, to ensure that the SNP was not disrupted.

In a motion by the ANC, which was passed in the House today, it was noted that the meal servers were mainly unemployed women, and the non-payments had resulted in some of them being unable to pay their commitments since August.

It was furthermore resolved that the Department submit a report to the Legislature before the official opening of schools in 2010, detailing how the non-payment of the meal servers.

The DA welcomes the passing of the motion and the continued spirit of co-operation between the political players in the Province, which is clearly illustrated by this motion in ensuring that proper oversight is done by the Legislature.

For further information, please contact Edmund van Vuuren, MPL on 072 184 7840