The Inkatha Freedom Party calls for effective monitoring of School Nutrition Programme in KwaZulu-Natal. It has been reported that learners at Zombede, Hlangananathi and Sinquma schools respectively in Ceza, Mahlabathini have gone hungry for almost three months without being provided with food by the service provider and the food is of not good quality.
“It seems that some service providers are not complying with requirements of the approved menu although the Department of Education had provided comprehensive specifications regarding this to service providers. The lack of sufficient monitoring tends to make some service providers look more to making profits. This area need urgent attention. The need for monitors on the ground is urgent. We should not have a situation where our children go hungry when money is available to feed them,” said IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Education, Mrs Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa MPL.
“I observed that there is a huge problem with the School Nutrition Programme in KwaZulu-Natal. This issue has been a problem for a long time but the Department has failed to solve it. This programme continues to be plaque by many challenges such as infrastructure problems, the payment of food handlers and the quality of food provided by the service providers. These challenges would only be eradicated through more effective and tightening of monitoring and evaluation. It is negligent to let such an important programme go on without oversight and monitoring,” continued Mrs Madlopha-Mthethwa.
“Urgent action is required to enforce zero tolerance and to improve accountability of some incompetent service providers. How did the Department employ such an incompetent service provider in the first place? We are concerned about the awarding tenders to incompetent companies. These service providers are struggling to meet their obligations. Some of them are deliberately under quoting when seeking these tenders, knowing that the law stipulates that the contracts must be given to the lowest bidder.
As the IFP we urge the KZN MEC of Education, Mthandeni Dlungwane to entrench performance-based systems of contracts and move towards weeding out incompetent service providers in the School Nutrition Programme. The Department should blacklist incompetent service providers with poor performance records. We call for the punishment of “incompetent contractors”, there should be repercussions for those who failed to deliver,” concluded Mrs Madlopha-Mthethwa.
Mrs Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Education
079 114 3015