Department of Social Development’s food relief programme in Karoo a team effort | Western Cape Government


Department of Social Development’s food relief programme in Karoo a team effort

22 February 2024

The Western Cape Government proved once again that it is committed to supporting the most vulnerable, especially in a time of crisis during the recent two-week Eskom power outage in the Central Karoo. Electricity was restored on 15 February.

Various provincial departments jumped in to assist affected residents in the various towns. Vulnerable residents in particular needed government support with perishable goods lost due to the electricity outage.

The Provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) was able to deliver and distribute more than 5 000 food parcels to indigent households in different parts of the Central Karoo, including Laingsburg, Ladismith, Leeu Gamka, Swartberg, Merweville, Matjiesfontein and Prince Albert.

These food parcels benefited over 17 000 people.

The Department also enabled three old age facilities in Prince Albert, Laingsburg, and Ladismith, to buy diesel for generators as their diesel supplies were constrained.

DSD officials, some coming from neighbouring towns to assist their colleagues in the affected region, conducted assessments from the early hours of the morning until the evening for several days to determine where the greatest needs were.

Teams faced various challenges, such as extreme heat, no electricity, and the difficulty of trying to reach beneficiaries quickly due to communities and dwellings being spread across wide areas.

“The momentous effort of procuring, transporting, and delivering thousands of food parcels in such a short space of time and over an expansive region is the result of a dedicated team of DSD staff members: from the departmental leadership, to social workers, social auxiliary workers, and community development workers,” says Provincial Minister Sharna Fernandez.

Minister Fernandez wishes to thank all the stakeholders who supported the Department:

  • Municipalities in the affected areas and the provincial Department of Local Government
  • Volunteers
  • Farmers
  • Gift of the Givers
  • South African Red Cross Society
  • DHL
  • Ladismith Cheese
  • Child Welfare Ladismith
  • Child Welfare Laingsburg
  • Engedi Rural Youth Development
  • NG Church Laingsburg
  • Laingsburg Community Development Forum
  • Caring Hands CNDC
  • Karoo Doring Service Centre

“The success of the food relief programme is further proof of the importance of collaboration in ensuring the most vulnerable citizens are cared for. As government, we can only do so much on our own, but when we work with dedicated partners towards a common goal, we can achieve great things,” concluded Provincial Minister Fernandez.

DSD is wrapping up food relief operations and remains vigilant for any other psycho-social needs that may arise in the impacted area.

Media Enquiries: 

Monique Mortlock-Malgas

Spokesperson to MEC Sharna Fernandez

Department of Social Development