Western Cape Government to increase nutritional relief support
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging period for many South Africans, with many people losing their jobs and going without the food they need to live healthy lives.
The Western Cape Government has acknowledged this from the very beginning, and has introduced series of measures to protect the well-being and livelihoods of residents in the Western Cape, in particular, the most vulnerable.
As part of the Western Cape Government’s Recovery Plan, the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) has made an additional R25 million available for food relief programmes, to broaden our existing nutritional safety net.
It is important to note that SASSA remains the lead agency charged with social support to the poor in terms of Chapter 3 of the Social Assistance Act. This legislative mandate covers food parcels, vouchers, amongst other forms of social relief of distress.
“We remain aware of the food crisis that we are facing in the City, Province and country as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic and the economic impact thereof. Whilst the provincial Department of Social Development has made additional funding available for humanitarian relief, I am concerned that thousands of vulnerable people will find themselves without any form of state support as a result of the special R350 COVID SRD Grant that came to an end on 30 April 2021.
As such, I wish to appeal to the National Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, to urgently intervene to avert a potential humanitarian crisis,” said Minister Fernandez.
The Department currently provides daily nutritional support to 14685 beneficiaries via 104 Community Nutritional Development Centres. Currently funded sites have also been strengthened to feed an additional 3760 beneficiaries to address food insecurity within vulnerable communities.
In order to upscale the reach, the Department has partnered with NGOs to complement existing service delivery by providing support to 353 community kitchens to provide relief to an additional 107 450 beneficiaries. The Department has also partnered with an established service provider to pilot a voucher system to 250 identified community kitchens to provide relief to 15000 beneficiaries.
“I am aware that many organisations and people are suffering from donor fatigue at this stage. However, I believe that for us to get through this challenging period, each of us has a part to play.
“I wish to thank everyone who has contributed to helping us ensure that our residents have at least one meal per day. Your support has been truly remarkable, and as a government, we are appreciative of your ongoing efforts.
“Only through a whole of society approach, engaging all sectors of society, can we fight food insecurity in the Western Cape,” concluded Minister Fernandez.