Department of Social Development providing food relief in Central Karoo | Western Cape Government


Department of Social Development providing food relief in Central Karoo

9 February 2024

The prolonged Eskom electricity outage in parts of the Central Karoo has led to a widespread need for food relief. Eskom is working to restore electricity by Thursday, 15 February, but the Western Cape Government is doing everything we can to help Eskom bring this date forward. With scorching temperatures and limited power in affected towns, many people have lost perishable food due to their inability to store products such as meat and vegetables in refrigerators.

The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) has activated emergency procurement procedures to ensure the necessary measures are taken to assist the most vulnerable communities.

The department’s social workers and community development workers are conducting assessments to identify residents who are at extremely high risk of malnutrition/hunger. These residents will be referred to various sites to receive nutritional support during this outage period.  

DSD has supported Community Nutritional Developmental Centres in extending their capacity to provide food for more residents than they already cater to.

The Department has also been liaising with municipalities in the affected region to discuss distribution.

Today the Department will start with a food relief programme, expected to benefit an estimated 20 000 beneficiaries. Over the next few days indigent households in various towns in the Central Karoo will be assisted.

Provincial Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, will be visiting the different areas where food relief efforts will be taking place.

“Thank you to the incredible DSD team that has worked around the clock to secure the necessary materials for the food relief programme, and to ensure that we do not miss anyone who is in dire need. I know that vulnerable residents, like the elderly and those living in poverty have had a challenging week, and I thank the municipalities for working so closely with us in our efforts to provide support,” says Provincial Minister Fernandez.

The Department has also enabled the three old age facilities in Prince Albert, Laingsburg, and Ladismith, to buy diesel for generators as their diesel supplies have been running low.

We will continue monitoring the situation and providing support where needed.

Media Enquiries: 

Monique Mortlock-Malgas

Spokesperson to MEC Sharna Fernandez

Department of Social Development