Citizen Leader Lab statement on the ongoing nutrition crisis in KwaZulu-Natal schools

Citizen Leader Lab statement on the ongoing nutrition crisis in KwaZulu-Natal schools
Komala Pillay

This statement is issued in response to the ongoing crisis of children in KwaZulu-Natal public schools who are currently not receiving food via the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP). This crisis is approaching week 3.

The NSNP is designed to provide one nutritious meal a day to children attending the 5400 quintile 1 – 3 (non-fee-paying) schools in the province. These children often rely on this single meal, and since the start of this term 10 days ago, a breakdown in the process has resulted in many of these children going hungry.

This has had severe implications in terms of their ability to concentrate on their studies and many children have had to be sent home. This has placed enormous pressure on families many of which are already struggling to survive.

And yet there is hope. In the face of this massive and catastrophic injury to KZN’s most vulnerable children and their families, ordinary South Africans have rallied to feed our children.

  • We honour the many parents who have yet again been forced to go without so their children could eat.
  • We honour the many ordinary citizens, particularly in KZN, who have courageously attempted to bridge the gap between government and the schools and have donated funds and food to feed our children.
  • We honour the many school principals and their staff who have dug into their own pockets to feed the children at their schools.
  • We honour the NPO’s that have mobilised their volunteers and donors to collect and distribute food.
  • We honour the Umgeni Municipality who are matching Rand-for-Rand whatever citizens donate up to a maximum of R70k.

At the same time, we denounce in the strongest possible terms the actions of South Africans amongst us who have stolen food from the mouths of our children. Your actions are deplorable.

Should you wish to get involved and trigger Umgeni Municipality’s Rand-for Rand matching of your donation, you may donate via EFT to Love Howick NPC: FNB Cheque Account: 627 747 27 039. Please reference your payment with the word “Food” and e-mail proof of payment to [email protected]

For more information or for interviews please contact [email protected]

About Citizen Leader Lab

Citizen Leader Lab utilises innovative leadership development models to develop leaders who can catalyse positive change in their communities and broader society. The globally ranked NPO also facilitates cross-sectoral collaboration to strengthen connections and partnerships across boundaries, while creating opportunities for active citizenship. The NPO engages with key public sectors, with education being an important focus area.