20 April 2020
Equal Education media statement: Call for urgent meeting of Parliamentary committees to protect children from hunger and malnutrition
Equal Education and Equal Education Law Centre – alongside the Centre for Child Law, the Children’s Institute and Section27 – are calling for an urgent joint meeting between Parliament’s Portfolio Committees on Basic Education and Social Development to obtain clear responses from the officials of both departments on their plans to ensure that children have access to basic nutrition.
Over nine million children ordinarily benefit from the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) and from the feeding schemes at early childhood development (ECD) centres that are subsidised by the Department of Social Development (DSD). For many of these children, the meal received at schools or at ECD centres is often their only meal for the day.
We call on Parliament to exercise its constitutional oversight role and require the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the DSD to urgently respond to the following issues:
- Provide a detailed provincial breakdown of a) how many children are receiving food relief support from the provincial DSDs and SASSA, b) what such food relief support has specifically included, and c) what the value of each parcel is;
- Provide a specific indication of how many children who ordinarily benefit from the NSNP are currently receiving food relief support from the DSD and SASSA;
- Provide an indication of plans to ensure food relief to those children not benefitting from food relief from DSD or SASSA; and
- Report on the national and provincial budgets available for food relief programmes for children, including current beneficiaries of the NSNP and ECD feeding schemes, and provide a record of how funds have been allocated to date.
Read our letter to the chairpersons of Parliament’s Portfolio Committees on Basic Education and Social Development here.
To arrange an interview, contact:
Jay-Dee Cyster (Equal Education Communications Officer) 082 924 1352 firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to journalists: Read our open letter, urging Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to demonstrate compassionate and decisive leadership, here.