South Africa · Decision · Judicial

Equal Education and Others v. Minister of Basic Education and Others

Issue:

Whether the Minister of Basic Education had a constitutional and statutory obligation to provide daily nutritious meals to learners who qualified for the school nutrition program.

Summary:

The court concluded that all qualifying learners are entitled to a daily meal from the NSNP. The court held that as the NSNP was explicitly introduced to address both the right to basic education under section 29(1)(a) of the Constitution and the right of children to basic nutrition under section 28(1)(c), the Minister of Basic Education and the MECs have a constitutional duty to provide basic nutrition to learners, that learners have a basic right to nutrition, and that the suspension of the NSNP program (during the COVID-19 lockdown) had infringed upon that right. The court ordered the respondents to produce a progress report every 15 days on the NSNP implementation situation.