‘Pupils must be provided healthy food’

2013-01-11 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education must ensure that pupils in the province are fed healthy food on time.

That’s according to MEC for Education, Senzo Mchunu, who yesterday addressed a group of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and co-operatives that will be providing meals at schools this year.

The department has made changes to the school nutrition scheme, one of them being to include co-operatives as service providers.

“Co-operatives will now benefit from the programme.

“Officials from the department, teachers and school principals who were entering this programme through back doors, which is [classed as] illegal trading, will not be allowed to operate and they will face the law,” Mchunu warned.

He said a service provider will only be allowed to feed 3 000 pupils per day. The number of schools a service provider can now serve, has also been reduced.

Mchunu said the introduction of co-operatives was to ensure that communities benefited from the scheme.

“More people must participate in the opportunities that the nutrition programme has brought in this province.

“These changes in the scheme aim to prevent corruption and improve efficiency and service delivery to the schools,” he added.

He said: “Every child must get food on time and it must be healthy.”

This was accompanied by applause by the ANC Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who said KZN can show other provinces that they are real leaders.

He reminded co-operatives that they should get training to make their businesses grow.

“Look out for training courses and grow as a business. More opportunities will come out in other places. Invest the profit. You don’t have to buy your first Mercedes-Benz after your first cheque from government.

“You are leading the way for other provinces and they will have to come and learn from your co-operatives,” said Ramaphosa.

The National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) feeds more than 2,8 million pupils in the province, with a budget of R1,1 billion.

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