This morning, ActionSA wrote to the MEC for Education, Ms Mbali Frazer, urgently seeking clarity on whether the Department has terminated their National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) contractual agreement with Pacina Retail Pty (LTD), who was tasked to deliver food to schools across the province, but miserably failed to do so, leaving over 2 million children to go without food for days.
The media statement issued by Pacina Retail clearly indicates that the contractual agreement between the parties still stands after causing havoc, hopelessness and uncertainty throughout the province, and if this is to be true, we need an explanation from the MEC on how this came to pass.
A supplier who has miserably failed to fulfil their contractual obligations should have been removed from their duties within days of this issue arising, but it seems as though the Government that should be protecting the rights and the dignity of our learners is in favour of the failed supplier.
And should the MEC fail to indicate whether the contract has been terminated or not, we will have no choice but to investigate legal avenues to ensure that the contract is terminated, as there has clearly been a breach.
We have requested that the MEC indicates that the Department of Education can confirm that all 5400 schools in the province have received food today as learners are returning to school after the long weekend.
The silence of the Government in KZN since the issue arose over 2 weeks ago has been quite deafening, most concerning being the silence of the MEC for Education, who has remained tight-lipped about the saga, and the Premier not assertively seeking answers from the MEC.
While we acknowledge the media statement released by the African National Congress (ANC), we cannot accept the statement from the party as a reflection of the Government’s stance in the matter.
While we are in need of leaders who do not fear facing problems head on, we are unfortunately stuck with those who disregard problems in hopes that they will go away.
While Members of the Executive Council are conducting oversight visits across schools in the province, it is unfortunate that they are conducting these visits and posing for pictures in schools that have received food, creating a false narrative that all is well.
We have been inundated with messages and calls from various schools confirming that they have not received food today, or that with the food that they currently have that was left over from last week, they will be able to feed learners today, but there will be nothing to prepare and give learners tomorrow.