JANE FURSE – Following Limpopo provincial government’s decision to establish food banks in all its districts amid COVID-19 pandemic, Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) officially launched its food bank at the Old Jane Furse Hospital on Friday, 15 May 2020.
According to the provincial government the food bank is necessary to help destitute families under the nationwide lockdown as pronounced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Limpopo Premier Chupu Mathabatha said since the outbreak, government had embarked on measures to assist vulnerable households through the provision of food parcels to deserving beneficiaries.
“I am glad that district municipalities have already distributed hundreds of food parcels to deserving people in the province. Life under COVID-19 is not going to be the same, we are now in a new normal,” said Mathabatha.
Mathabatha further slammed officials and politicians abusing food parcels for their selfish ends and urged media and the public to expose such rogue elements.
“We have had such challenges, at times they do it for party political interests. As you remember some councilors have been charged, but as and when we receive these allegations, we act decisively. But this is not widespread. What we are emphasizing is that councilors are not allowed to distribute food parcels, said Premier Mathabatha.
Mathabatha added that while councilors assisted in identifying indigent families, the process would be audited and only eligible officials would distribute the food parcels. The process will be led by the Department of Social Development.
SDM Executive Mayor, Stanley Ramaila, said 27 000 indigent families in the district were eligible to receive food parcels.
Ramaila informed that of the 27 000 indigent families, nine-thousand families were reached and 18 000 of those were yet to be assisted.
The executive mayor called on businesses and individuals to contact both the district municipality and social development department for a list of food items they could purchase.