Feeding scheme fails Limpopo learners

Learners in three areas have been asked to bring lunch to school as  the supplier claims he failed  to supply food due  lack of capacity.
Learners in three areas have been asked to bring lunch to school as the supplier claims he failed to supply food due lack of capacity.
Image: NIGEL LOUW

The Limpopo department of education has failed to provide meals to 4800 pupils since schools reopened, sources claim.

At least 23 schools from three circuits - Moletjie, Moloto and Bakone - have not received food since the beginning of the school year.

An official from Bakwena Senior Secondary in Moletjie, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they wrote to the department but received no feedback.

"It has been embarrassing and hurtful to see learners from poor backgrounds who rely on the school-feeding scheme attending classes on an empty stomach for two consecutive weeks," the official said.

"We told the learners to inform their parents about the situation and bring their lunch boxes because we don't know when this is going to be resolved."

A source close to the situation said the department had just renewed the supplying contracts and that they were extended by two months.

"The challenge is that many main suppliers are failing to secure subcontractors to provide food to schools for a two-month period.

"The department is being failed by the suppliers here."

The source said the department was informed when schools resumed.

Department spokesman Sam Makondo said the supplier had failed to supply food due to a lack of capacity.

"He recently wrote a letter to the department saying he was unable to continue supplying the schools because he found the task bigger than he anticipated," Makondo said.

"Our team worked over the weekend and as a result they secured services of a new supplier who will start today.

"It is regrettable that learners had to go hungry," said Makondo.

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