By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Spokesperson on Education:
The DA condemns the bombing of a government tender box that occurred at the Department of Education in the early hours of this morning, hours before closing of tender applications for the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP).
A bomb is a most violent way to sabotage a process of appointing new school food suppliers.
The Department must now commit to a fully open and transparent tender adjudication process, as it is clear that there are very strong interests at play in this contract.
The DA calls on the police to swiftly investigate this bombing – it is very concerning that a bomb has been used against a Department of government.
This act of criminal sabotage must not disrupt the feeding schemes currently in place. It may delay the new tender process, but it cannot cause our learners to go hungry.
The NSNP has been dogged by serious problems in Limpopo recently. Last year an estimated 1,600 learners took ill after consuming contaminated school food provided by the NSNP, containing glass, poison and expired ingredients.
Between October 2014 and December 2014, in Vhembe and Mopani, 38,034 learners did not receive their NSNP food due to the non-delivery of foodstuffs by department suppliers.
R700 million in tender irregularities in the NSNP has been identified by the Auditor General.
The Department must open the tender process, make it 100% transparent, and dispel fears that there are violent interests at play in this multi-million rand contract.