POLITICAL NEWS - The DA has called on acting Gauteng Social Development MEC Panyaza Lesufi to speed up the process of distributing food parcels to the needy people in the province and ensure that no one suffers from starvation.
DA Gauteng shadow MEC for social development Refiloe Nt’sekhe said she was “deeply concerned” that some people, who are desperately in need of food during the lockdown, have not yet received food parcels.
Nt’sekhe claimed this was due to delays in the distribution of food parcels.
She said people applied for food parcels a month ago and have not yet received any response from the Gauteng social development department.
“The department is only aiming to distribute 4 000 food parcels per day, which is not enough and cannot cover the large numbers hungry for food.”
“This indicates the department is incapacitated, under-resourced and understaffed, leaving them incapable of distributing food parcels unassisted.
“Most of our people who reside in informal settlements, townships and rural communities are living in fear of starvation because they have been unemployed since the lockdown was implemented.”
She called on the government to ensure community-based organisations have permits to distribute food parcels.
She said this would speed up the process of distributing food parcels.
Last week, while delivering on the social development interventions, Lesufi said since the lockdown, 82 727 households have been provided with food relief, supporting a total of 413 635 people (at least five people per household).
He, however, said the demand for food far outstrips the department’s capacity to meet the need.
“We continue to call for more support from business, foundations and civil society initiatives on food relief. However, such initiatives must be coordinated with government and the distribution should avoid breaching social distancing regulations,” he said.
Lesufi added that the department was also trialling electronic vouchers for food relief.
By the time of print, Rekord has not received any response from the Department of Social Development in response to the DA’s claims.