Eight provincial Education MECs have reportedly missed the deadline to provide the High Court in Pretoria, with their progress to reintroduce the school feeding scheme.
In July, the court had ordered that plans to guide the full roll out of the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) must be filed by Friday, July 31, 2020. The Western Cape was excluded as it had not suspended the programme.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga submitted her plan last week. However, Equal Education and Section27 have sent a letter to her, expressing disappointment over its quality.
Co-head Researcher at Equal Education Hopolang Selebalo says, “The court case has had an impact in the sense that learners are now getting meals but we also know that, as it has been reported to us by school communities, that some learners are not receiving meals. Some learners don’t know that school meals are available for them right now. Others say only grade 12s who went back to school this week are receiving meals. So it’s quite haphazard and there are different pictures across the provinces – which is in defiance of the court order.
Equal Education, Section27 and some Limpopo school governing bodies said they would work to ensure that the High Court order on the NSNP is implemented.
The group said they would be monitoring the government to ensure that rights of the over 9 million learners who depend on the NSNP for a daily meal are fulfilled by the government, without delay.
They described the court’s ruling as a victory.
Acting Deputy Judge President Sulet Potterill ruled in a declaratory order that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and eight Education MECs were in breach of their Constitutional duties for failing to roll out the NSNP to all eligible learners regardless of whether pupils were back at school or at home.
The judge has described the programme as a lifesaving service for the poorest children.