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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Union says rotten food was given to school children in KZN

The Educators Union of South Africa (EUSA) President Scelo Bhengu said maggots were found in learners’ food at Ziphembeleni Secondary School in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal.

Bhengu shared a video on social media with a half-eaten plate of phutu and amasi showing maggots moving on the plate.

The rotten food served at the school is as part of the National Schools’ Nutrition Programme (NSNP).

In response to the incident, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said a full probe is to be conducted following ongoing reports of maggot-infested food being distributed to learners at Inanda-based Eziphembeleni Secondary School, north of Durban.

DA KZN Spokesperson on Education Imran Keeka said while the problems that exist within the NSNP in KZN are well documented, the serving of rotten food has taken matters to a whole new level.

“It is now clear that investigations conducted by department of education officials following earlier incidents has not changed anything and we urge Mshengu to get to the bottom of what is happening at this school,” Keeka said.

Mshengu said his department sent out a team to investigate allegations made by EUSA president of school children being fed rotten food.

But EUSA president said he was not convinced.

“The KZN department of education officials will once again conduct their lacking dexterity investigation and issue a cooked report to protect their cdes (sic) at the expense of our kids,” said Bhengu.

The incident of rotten food served to children from poor backgrounds at government public schools is the fourth incident to take place this year at the same school.

Bhengu said Ziphembeleni Secondary School has had issues with spoiled food since the beginning of the year.  

“It happened on the last week of March, I took a video again of a bag of samp that had insects on it,” said Bhengu.

Spokesperson for the KZN Department of Education Kwazi Mthethwa said the department is committed to providing healthy meals to all learners across the province. 

“If the food was off or was not in a good state, we have to investigate and check with our officials and confirm those details,” he said.

According to the KZN education department website, the NSNP aims to enhance the learning capacity of learners through the provision of a healthy meal a day at schools.

“Where it is implemented, the programme has shown to improve punctuality, regular school attendance, concentration and the general wellbeing of participating learners,” said Mthethwa.

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