Msinga High pupils still go hungry without caterers

2016-01-27 10:32

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Pietermaritzburg - A catering company has yet to be appointed to Msinga High School by the Department of Education, and more than 260 pupils have been left hungry again.

Boarders at the school were not fed for two days at the start of the academic year when the department failed to appoint a catering company. Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa told The Witness at that time that the matter had been addressed and a catering company sent to the school.

However, school governing body chairperson Siphiwe Ngubane said yesterday that the catering company failed to pitch up this week.

“We called the company and they told us that the department had only employed them for nine days. They said that they did not know who was to cater for the children this week,” he said.

Ngubane said they were advised that the caterer’s contract had ended on Saturday and the school principal had been using their savings to buy food since.

“This school is a project school, which means everything is supposed to sponsored by the [Education] Department. Now we have to use whatever little money we have in our savings to try and buy food for the pupils,” he said, adding that the principal was also using money from “his own pocket” to assist.

Ngubane said the school was struggling and the department “has no right” to keep children hungry.

The boarders are from rural areas around the province and pay only a small amount towards their education, which is deposited into the savings account.

Ngubane said he had been to the district office on a number of occasions, but there had been no mention of what the school should do. “We are in such a predicament now because we cannot allow these children to be hungry. We are using our savings, but I am afraid that we will be forced to close the school when the money finishes,” he said.

The Department of Education had not responded to questions from The Witness by the time of going to print.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  hunger  |  school

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