Lindy Wilson (MP)
Shadow Deputy Minister of Social Development
Tomorrow , the DA will be meeting with the Social Development Committee seeking a thorough explanation following the pronouncement that thousands of learners across the country will face starvation in schools starting from next week.
The National Treasury announced that only “no fee” schools will benefit from the school feeding schemes. The pronouncement disqualifies quintile 4 and 5 schools who were also benefitting from the schemes.
According to Treasury, all Provincial Education Departments will have to decide whether they want to use their own budgets to assist these disqualified schools or affected schools who were dependent on the scheme will have to make their own plans to feed poor children.
The DA believes that this will be a burden to many schools as 40 % of children in these quintiles are from the poorest villages and can barely meet the fees in these schools. The meal received from the feeding scheme is possibly the only meal these children will receive each day.
Starving these poor learners is a clear violation of their rights as it is enshrined in the constitution. A hungry child cannot be expected to learn and cannot be physically or mentally strong.
The reality is that some vulnerable citizens, children especially require immediate social protection, provided by a caring government that is committed to ensure that they have access to basic services and that they are protected from poverty induced hunger.
The DA wants a comprehensive report from the commitee explaining all plans and measures that will be put in place to feed these children.