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The handling of the food relief programme in North West is a serious injustice to the poor in urgent need of food and clearly warrants investigation.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been informed that food parcels for those in need during the Covid-19 lockdown period have allegedly been locked in a storeroom in Matlosana, awaiting the MEC to deliver them in person for the purposes of media coverage.
In Kagisano Molopo, it has been alleged that the tender to deliver the food parcels has been awarded to the company of the former MEC of Social Development, Hoffman Galeng.
Furthermore, the Department of Social Development this week issued a poster with contact details of district coordinators of the food parcel project, but the DA can confirm that the numbers for Ngaka Modiri Molema District rings without any answer.
It is also alleged that the distributors in Khuma help themselves to some items from the packages before distributing the leftovers to the community.
We are also concerned about serious allegations of factional battles concerning suppliers across the province.
It is now time for Social Development MEC Boitumelo Moiloa to act decisively by being transparent on the process followed by her office.
The DA will write to her, requesting more information about the service providers contracted to procure food parcels during this time of lockdown.
While Covid-19 cases are on the increase in our province, we need a smart lockdown plan to effectively address the rapid increase of hunger amongst our communities during this time.
The DA wrote to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, Priscilla Williams at the onset of this programme, requesting a virtual meeting to discuss this matter and to allow members of the committee to play their oversight role on the details of the process to be followed, but it fell on deaf ears.
The Western Cape DA led government, under the leadership of Alan Winde, has led a process where transparency is key. It has established a food relief hotline and email address where requests can be submitted for delivery to minimise exposure to infection and criminality surrounding the emergency food distribution programme.
Under the current lockdown conditions, our country is heading towards a serious hunger crisis. We cannot allow a relief programme as important as this to be hijacked and undermined by corruption and political expedience.
Issued by DA