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Motshekga: Gauteng's rollout of the National Food Emergency Scheme (11/03/2003)

11th March 2003

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Date: 11/03/2003
Source: Gauteng Provincial Government
Title: Motshekga: Gauteng's rollout of the National Food Emergency Scheme


STATEMENT BY GAUTENG SOCIAL SERVICES AND POPULATION DEVELOPMENT MEC, ANGIE MOTSHEKGA, ON THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT'S ROLLOUT PLAN FOR THE NATIONAL FOOD EMERGENCY SCHEME AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF SCHOOL UNIFORMS TO NEEDY FAMILIES

The National Food Emergency Scheme (NFES) is a government response to provide interim relief measures to households and beneficiaries severely affected by food insecurity and the price escalation of basic food items. The scheme forms an integral component of the Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Programme (IFSNP) developed by the Social Cluster departments.

It was within this context that the National Government committed R400 million towards food relief. Of this, R4,5 million has been granted to the Dept of Social Services and Population Development in Gauteng to reach 5000 households before the end of March 2003.

From 1 April 2003, an additional amount of R27 million has been granted to the Gauteng Provincial Government to provide food parcels. Over and above this allocation, the department has budgeted an extra R20 million towards direct poverty alleviation programmes.

The Provincial Government has also allocated us R3,8 billion towards social grants, especially for the increase in the age limit for the Child Support Grants beneficiaries and the increase in the grant levels.

We have also allocated R5 million towards supporting children in distress through the provision of school uniforms to families identified and targeted by the department through our community networks.

Furthermore the department is giving support to community initiatives through the funding of NGOs and CBOs to the tune of R407 million.

All these bring the total poverty attack budget for this year alone to R5 billion. As from 13 March 2003, we will immediately be providing targeted 3000 households in Bekkersdal with food parcels over three months. We will also on the same day provide a targeted 2000 households in Greenfields with food parcels for the next three months.

Thereafter, from 1 April 2003, the food parcel programme will be rolled out to other targeted communities throughout Gauteng.

HOW WILL THE PROGRAMME WORK

We will target families for three consecutive months. Simultaneously we will link with food production programmes and relevant skills development programmes. Then later place then within various government and private sector programmes for sustenance purposes.

WHO QUALIFIES

Households spending less than R200 on food per month
Children and child-headed families
Orphaned children in distress
The elderly in distress
People with disabilities in distress
Female-headed families in distress
HIV/AIDS affected and infected persons in distress

HOW TO TRACK BENEFICIARIES

The overall message to beneficiaries is that they must not come to us, we will go to them through community structures and identified stakeholder forums.

We will also utilise the following:

* Beneficiaries from the School Nutrition Programme
* Clinics will be requested to provide lists of household suffering from malnutrition
* Children in distress identified through schools and other relevant institutions.

SCHOOL UNIFORM PROGRAMME

Our office is continuously invaded by children in distress whose parents could not afford school uniforms thus adding undue pressure to the children. Based on this, the department will from 17 March 2003 be distributing school uniforms to these families. We intend to reach at least 1 900 children this year alone with more next year.

SOCIAL GRANTS

Since last week we have partnered with the Home Affairs department so that we can ensure that all people who qualify for social grants receive them without difficulties.

So far we have more than 620 000 people depending on these grants of which 320 000 are children. All these cost us R309 million per month.

We will visit various communities around Gauteng on Saturdays to register those who qualify especially children in the new age group.

All these demonstrate our desire to eradicate the shackles of poverty currently trap our people. We have ensured that all the money allocated must be used to alleviate poverty.

For more information contact: Panyaza Lesufi on (011) 355 7873 / 082 469 0822
Issued by Department of Social Services and Population, Gauteng
11 March 2003
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