Pacina Retail has been under fire for failing to deliver food to over 5,400 schools in the KZN. Zwakele Mncwango, the KZN leader of ActionSA, said “While the Department of Education and its MEC, Mbali Frazer, have been tight-lipped regarding the matter and who was awarded the tender, it is a concern that the department saw it fit to divert from a system that has been working without hiccups for a number of years, and introduce one that has unfortunately collapsed before it could take off.”
The Midlands Response
In the Midlands of KZN two NGO’s LOVE HOWICK and LOVE NOTTIES swung into action. As one concerned citizen reports, “this is been an incredibly intense period as we always knew that we serve within a “broken” education system. And now we have a new crisis:
- The collapse of the school nutrition programme since the beginning of term 2 and the impact of what appear to be irregularities in tender and procurement processes”
“This is an emergency situation! With the support from LOVE NOTTIES and LOVE HOWICK (between us, we managed to distribute a ton of maize over 2 days) and the support they harnessed from community, we were able to support 43 schools and 22 025 learners.”
Over the past four years Partners for Possibility, an NGO that works in 1754 schools country-wide has established three circles in the Midlands, each comprising eight Principals and eight business leaders with the express purpose of creating partnerships to improve the schools as functional places of learning. During this crisis many of these partners swung into action to work with local donors who immediately stepped into the gap to feed hungry learners.
LOVE HOWICK and the Umngeni municipally took a very strong stance against this inefficiency. Chris Pappas, the Mayor of Umngeni, vowed to assist in understanding how this crisis occurred as well as pledging R 70 000 towards the emergency.