Pupils are expected back in schools on Wednesday.

Recent storms and floods in KwaZulu-Natal have caused severe damage to school infrastructure, with 59 schools in 9 of the 12 districts affected, said MEC Mbali Frazer on Sunday.

This comes as the province battles severe weather in several parts, resulting in the loss of 43 lives, with some still missing.

The storm that swept through KZN last night also caused extensive damage to Eskom’s networks, leaving several areas in the dark.

The most affected areas include Pietermaritzburg, Margate, Kokstad, Newcastle, Ladysmith, Stanger, Zululand and Empangeni.

ALSO READ: Floods wreak havoc in KwaZulu-Natal as death toll climbs to 43

Pupils are expected back in schools on Wednesday.

The KZN department of education has assured parents that it has put in place various measures to ensure that affected schools are provided with interim measures, including mobile classrooms, mobile ablution facilities and the dislodging of existing ablution facilities.

“The ultimate responsibility of the department is to ensure the provision of an environment that is conducive for teaching and learning,” said Frazer.

“Given all the measures and interventions stated above, the department of education in KwaZulu-Natal is ready and prepared for the beginning of the 2024 academic year.”

The department says it has put systems in place to ensure that the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) commences on Wednesday when schools open.

ALSO READ: Probe into KZN school nutrition programme launched

“The 1,747 appointed service providers, who are currently in their second year of contract, are ready to start the supply and delivery of food items to schools from tomorrow, Monday, 15 January 2024. This will ensure that all schools are able to provide meals to the pupils on their first day of school,” it said.

It is working with service providers to ensure that there are sufficient supplies for all the 11 feeding days in January.

The province experienced food delivery challenges that left pupils in some areas without meals at the beginning of the second term last year.

ALSO READ: Motshekga apologises for school nutrition programme disruptions, says ‘the situation has stabilised’

The crisis attracted an intervention from the national government, with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga travelling to the province to assess the state of readiness in the implementation of the feeding programme.

Motshekga at the time announced the department had allocated R9.279 billion of its R31.8 billion budget to the NSPS for the 2023/24 financial year.

According to Motshekga, the nutrition program feeds about 9.6 million children on a daily basis across the country.

READ MORE: School nutrition programme gets R9.2bn of basic education dept’s R31.8bn budget


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