Heads must roll for school nutrition payment failure

Heads must roll for school nutrition payment failure

Bureaucrats responsible for the delay in payments of the National School Nutrition Transfer funds to Eastern Cape schools should lose their jobs with immediate effect.

Their actions have taken food out of the mouths of starving children, many of whom have no access to other meals. That these children have not received any food since April and will most likely only get food again next week, if payments are processed as promised, is unacceptable.

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the commitment from the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Education, Mpumelelo Saziwa, to add the matter to the Education Portfolio Committee agenda this Thursday, where MEC Fundile Gade and the Department will be present.

During the 2021/22 financial year, 1 647 126 children were beneficiaries of the feeding scheme across 4 932 schools.

The Department has since indicated that not all beneficiaries have been affected by late payments, and we will be calling for clarity in the upcoming Portfolio Committee on Thursday.

The DA will also demand that those responsible for this catastrophe be summarily dismissed.

The Department needs to send a strong message that callous indifference is not acceptable and ensure that such an atrocity does not happen again.

The DA will also fight to ensure that every school in the province entitled to school nutrition funding receives its payment and that every learner that is a beneficiary gets their meals.