SA school nutrition programme has resumed: Motshekga

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga says the school nutrition programme has resumed for grades 12 and 7 in all provinces.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga says the school nutrition programme has resumed for grades 12 and 7 in all provinces.
Image: Cebisile Mbonani

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga says the school nutrition programme has resumed for grade 12 and 7 pupils in all provinces.

“Now we have even expanded feeding to learners who are not yet back in schools. Plans are in place to provide feeding to learners not yet in school using different options, including staggered feeding at school, cooked food collected at school, food parcels collected at school, parcels collected at collection point other than school,” Motshekga said during a briefing on Sunday.

This comes after the department of education was dragged to court by Equal Education over its failure to roll out the nutrition programme in schools.

Equal Education approached the Pretoria high court asking for a declaratory order that government had a duty to ensure that meals were provided to all pupils who qualified to benefit from the national school nutrition programme.

The organisation is also asking the court to order that, within five days, national and provincial education departments should provide plans to implement their constitutional duty to provide meals to children.

Arguing on behalf of Equal Education on Friday, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said there was chaos in provinces as they did not know when the department would reinstate the school nutrition programme.

“Millions of children go hungry every day. Hunger is a problem in our country. The minister and the MECs are playing games with the court, the parents and children,” Ngcukaitobi argued.

Equal Education said it had gone to court because the department of education refused to reinstate the school nutrition programme that fed nine million pupils.

Judgment was reserved in the case.

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