NHLANGANO: Students at Ngwane College are struggling with food after King Mswati’s Government ignored social obligations and went on to spend millions of public funds on the Buganu ritual ceremony.
It has been disclosed that Government terminated a R2million contract with Eclipse Catering Company, the company was providing catering services to Ngwane College to enable students to buy food at a cheap and subsidized fee.
On Monday,Thokozile Khumalo, the Principal of the College issued a Memorandum informing the students that the institution would close for a week after negotiations between the Students Representative Council (SRC)and the Catering Company failed to yield positive results .
\"This is because, as stated in the previous Memo, the contract that Government had with ECLIPSE, has expired. On campus students will have nothing to eat from the Dining Hall (DH) the whole of the week\", reads the Memorandum in part.
The students at the College subsequently engaged in a strike action demanding answers from the Government after the catering company stopped preparing food for them.
Speaking to this publication, Innocent Shongwe, the President of the Students Representative Council(SRC) at the Ngwane College described the latest developments as a direct attack on their education.
\"Every student is affected by this, whether in Campus or out of Campus because even off Camp students were able to buy meals at a subsidized price\",he said.
Siphesihle Dlamini, the Manager at Eclipse Catering at Ngwane College branch declined to comment on the matter.
Reached for comments, Bheki Gama ,the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education said the Ministry of Labour was the one responsible for paying students meals .
\"The Ministry of Labour is responsible for that, not us\",he said.
Pius Vilakati, the Spokesperson of the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) said this was yet another vicious attack of the right to education by Mswati’s autocratic Government.
\"The regime is also failing to provide basic meals for school children, and has been cutting on scholarships for tertiary education,”said the CPS Spokesperson.
Students protesting at the Ngwane College on Monday.