In an interview with The Citizen at Solomon Mahlangu Freedom School in Mamelodi outside Pretoria yesterday, Cosas secretary-general Khulekani Skosana said: “We want proper food that is adequate and healthy. We want lettuce, cucumber, chicken and steak.”
Skosana said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga would never eat the food given to pupils in schools. “If you go to the cafeteria of the basic education department you will find a buffet for employees.
“Learners are forced to eat food which looks disgusting. We do not have a mini-kitchen and private gyms in our schools. The minister has a kitchen and private gym in her office.” Skosana said although education had been declared the “apex priority” of the government since President Jacob Zuma took office in 2009, there was no evidence of that. “All we see is daddies getting big tummies and buying Land Rovers with our money,” he said. “We want better feeding schemes. We want schools which look like the office of the minister.”
Basic education department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the “nutritious meal” provided to schools had been approved by the health department. He said there was nothing wrong with the meals provided to schools, adding that pupils were just tired of the menu.
Skosana also criticised government for allegedly spending R200 million on the Annual National Assessments (ANA), which test numeracy and literacy.
“We don’t have a problem with ANA but we have a problem with government using R200 million to spend on exam papers when our schools are dilapidated,” he said. “It is high time the ANC knows that we will not vote for them for free.”