'Include high schools in food programme'

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

KwaZulu-Natal teacher unions have welcomed the budget allocation for education, saying it will greatly improve salaries.

They are also hopeful that the increase in the allocation to the nutrition programme would benefit high school pupils. Currently, no high school in the province benefits from the national nutrition programme.

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said national education will get R18,8billion to be used on infrastructure and equipment and the expansion of early childhood education.

The minister said R1,5billion is meant for the school nutrition programme nationally.

But, there are problems with the programme because food does not reach most pupils because of problems in the programme's tendering process.

"From the millions allocated to the provinces, we hope there will be an allowance in the nutrition programme that would also benefit secondary school pupils," said Anton Pierce of the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa.

KwaZulu-Natal education spokesman Ntokozo Maphisa said no high school in the province benefits from the nutrition programme.

"Talks to include high schools in the programme are currently under way," said Maphisa.

National Teachers Union's Allen Thompson said they welcomed Manuel's efforts to recognise the need for all pupils to be fed at school.