DA urges Rakgoale to increase food relief efforts in the province

LIMPOPO – The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo called on the MEC for Social Development Nkakareng Rakgoale to increase the provision of food parcels to citizens of Limpopo in need of food relief in response to Covid-19’s impact on their livelihoods.

As of 13 May 2020 the Limpopo Department of Social Development had distributed 54 253 food parcels, but had received 104 182 Social Relief of Distress applications.

“The province has 1.7 million people who are considered food insecure and the department’s current intervention is not enough to address the province’s substantial food security challenges.

“The DA is also deeply concerned that the Waterberg District Municipality does not have a functional food bank, which will make it hard to ensure transparent and fair distribution of food parcels in the district and eliminate issues such as politicisation of food parcels and double dipping. We are aware some donors may choose to directly deliver their food relief but a food bank should still be functional for the department’s own food parcels,” said DA’s Katlego Phala.

The lockdown has left many households cash-strapped, unable to earn wages and vulnerable to hunger and possibly starvation.

“It is critical that lockdown restriction levels are lowered and more sectors of the economy are allowed to operate to allow more households to earn an income and become self-sufficient.

“We acknowledge the department’s efforts and the significant assistance from the department’s partners and donors, but their plans to target 50 000 households with social relief packages for 6 months at a cost R550 million, while commendable, is not enough to address the challenges,” she added.

Phala said her party will continue to fight to ensure that vulnerable individuals, households and communities receive social relief during this difficult lockdown period.

Thapelo Motseo

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