“Everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food.” – that is at least according to section Section 27 (1) (b) of the South African Constitution
However, the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s investigation revealed grouse violation of rights has been conducted by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).
The investigation was lodged in July 2020 by Advocate Paul Hoffman of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa.
Revealed that the was an undue delay by Sassa in awarding new contracts for the distribution of food parcels in a number of provinces at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her final report, Mkhwebane said appointed service providers were stuck with huge stockpiles of food in warehouses, due to the uncertainty about the extension of their contracts to provide food parcels.
With that in mind, the National government has accepted that the initiative to distribute food parcels has not been as successful as planned.
While addressing the media on the 20th of December Lindiwe Zulu said
‘’The DSD Portfolio witnessed a massive surge in demand for food relief during the lockdown as people were stuck at home due to the disruption of their livelihoods and were not able to provide for themselves and their dependents.
To address this, the Portfolio has distributed over 1.4 million food parcels that benefitted over 7.1 million people throughout the country.’’
We are grateful to many corporate and charity organizations that partnered with us to ensure that no child or family goes to bed hungry during this time.
Our centre-based feeding program is now fully operational in all provinces and provides cooked meals to vulnerable individuals and households.’’
By Siphokazi Mnyobe