Many school learners in South Africa come from the families who have a working class background. Some learners’ parents work in casual work while others’ income comes from selling food in schools, streets, trains and malls. Others rely on feeding schemes in schools to survive.
The government promised to deliver food parcels to the communities but the food parcels are only shared among those who are part of a certain political party. You register for food parcels, but when the food finally comes you don’t receive it. Many learners suffer, especially those who depended on feeding schemes in the school and those who survive by selling food. The government expects learners to learn from home but learners don’t have food in their homes, how can they learn with an empty stomach. This is still another form of segregation that favours the white people (and those who have money), because only those who can sustain themselves and who can access learning online can continue to learn.
Equal Education has been running a campaign of nutrition, advocating for learners whose families are unable to provide for them in the lockdown. During lockdown people are not allowed to be in gatherings and most families in townships and rural areas depend on gatherings to make income. On 12 June 2020, Equal Education took the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to court to fight for learners to receive nutritious meals at schools.
On 29 June 2020 Equal Education went to Beyers Naude Drive and Grayston Drive bridges and put up banners on the bridges to send the message to all the South Africans to support Equal Education in the upcoming court case for nutritious meals at schools. On the 30 June 2020 Equal Education went to the Union building and DBE in Pretoria to demonstrate. They had bowls with massages inside like #SchoolMealsNow #9MillionMeals.
On 17 July the North Gauteng High Court ruled that the Department of Basic Education was in breach of the constitution and should implement feeding schemes for learners in schools.
This article was submitted on 1 July 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.