Since the beginning of March 2022, the Department of Social Development (DSD) has not distributed a single food parcel to the destitute in the Buffalo City or Nelson Mandela Bay Metros.
While the Department has not given any explanation as to why they have not done so, the problem is clearly not due to a lack of funds.
Earlier this year, the DA revealed that R67 million provided in grant funding meant for food parcels had to be handed back to National Treasury because DSD had failed to spend it.
A response to a parliamentary question revealed that a total of 22 787 food parcels have been provided to those in need in the various districts across the province, but not a single parcel was provided to residents in the two Metros.
The Department’s budget for food parcels in the 2022/23 financial year is just over R 6,1 million.
This budget is a slap in the face of the people of this province who have had to contend with growing unemployment and the rapid escalation in the cost of living. More and more people are falling further below the poverty line daily.
In WC the DA-led government has “earmarked an amount of R25 million for food relief to vulnerable families that will support food distribution centres and community nutrition development centres. This amount is made over and above an existing, approximately R28 million in the Department’s baseline budget for this purpose, bringing the total allocation for food relief to just over R53 million for 2022/23” – WCDSD Budget Speech 2022
I will be writing to the portfolio committee chair to request that a DSD HOD be called before the committee and provide a full report on the food parcel programme, and its challenges.
We cannot allow ANC cadres to continue to line their pockets while our people are starving.