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16 January 2023

With hotter days expected, the Western Cape Department of Social Development urges residents to be cautious, especially those living in densely populated areas where fires can spread rapidly.  

During the festive season there were a number of fires which impacted residents in our province. The department offers its condolences to all affected, especially those who lost loved ones and most important we are there to offer psychosocial support services to those in need.

DSD social workers provide trauma counseling to affected victims, and after the trauma of an event such as a fire where all your possessions are lost, this support is invaluable. It is however often not the immediate need for victims as their primary focus is on the very basic material assistance like food relief and other material necessities like blankets, sanitary products, clothing, etc. which is the responsibility of South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).

The psychosocial support service from the DSD are available for when the need is expressed by someone, especially vulnerable groups like children, the elderly and the disabled. We also facilitate access and/or give guidance on burial support where fatalities as a result of a disaster have occurred.

During the festive period the Department allocated 1812 food parcels to all regions across the province for distribution to indigent communities, servicing a need that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of food parcels are limited, and beneficiaries are assessed based on the following criteria:

  1. A person who is on medication or who suffers from a chronic illness and have insufficient means to sustain themselves who was assessed and referred by a local clinic or registered health practitioner.
  2. A person and his household who have insufficient means to sustain him/herself who was assessed and referred by a registered humanitarian relief agency, DSD, registered NPO or a municipal manager. 

A referral form must be completed with minimum identifying particulars of beneficiaries. Registers must be kept of those receiving the benefits.

“On behalf of all those residents that the department has supported during times of distress or urgent need I would like to thank and acknowledge the numerous DSD workers who step in and often go beyond the call of duty,” says Minister of Social Development Sharna Fernandez.

Media Enquiries: 

Monique Mortlock-Malgas
Media Liaison Officer

Office of MEC Sharna Fernandez

Department of Social Development

Tel: 084 775 2975