The government will not stop welfare organizations from distributing food parcels during the national restriction, says Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Social Development.
The minister’s assurances follow alleged efforts by her department in recent weeks to centralize the distribution of food parcels.
She said at a joint session of the parliamentary portfolio committee on social development and the elected health and social development committee on Friday that her department does not consider welfare organizations as competitors, and rather works with them to distribute food parcels.
“We are not stopping anyone from distributing food. However, people should keep in mind that it is Covid-19 and therefore it is important that food is delivered in a structured way. We have to stick to health measures. ”
Last week, the DA obtained a temporary order in the Cape Town High Court whereby the government was not allowed to prevent people from exercising their rights by distributing or receiving food parcels.
The DA has previously accused the government of applying draft regulations that prevent welfare organizations from distributing food parcels, and that it is closing places such as soup kitchens.
The FF Plus said in a statement on Friday after weeks of uncertainty over the issue, Zulu finally brought certainty that non-profit organizations or community organizations may distribute food parcels to needy people.
“The number of people in need has increased exponentially since the announcement of the disaster and during the national restriction.
“The government must provide guidance on the relief of famine and, where possible, coordinate and not impede it,” the statement said.
According to a presentation by the department, he initially had to restrict the movement of food parcels. According to the department, he approves needy people after which welfare organizations distribute the food parcels to the right places.
The provinces where most food parcels have been introduced since the containment are Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape.