Hunger crisis in SA getting worse due to Covid-19

20 April 2020 - 15:06 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
The South African Social Security Agency has issued a list of items included in the food parcels that the agency is distributing.
The South African Social Security Agency has issued a list of items included in the food parcels that the agency is distributing.
Image: Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius

SA is facing a “food crisis”, and the SA Food Sovereignty Campaign (SASFC) has called on government to ensure that food parcels are distributed to all communities to feed the poor.

“While we commend the government’s efforts to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, the lockdown has not been accompanied with adequate socio-economic mitigation measures,” the SASFC said in a statement.

The organisation said the government's response to food needs had been inadequate and the Solidarity Fund has not been able to effectively ensure food supply, through food parcels.

It called for politicians to desist from handing out food parcels, and for the Solidarity Fund to work closely with local government to identify community organisations that can facilitate food distribution in grassroots communities.

“The food crisis is going to persist as long as we have the Covid-19 pandemic. The Solidarity Fund is far from blunting the edge of desperation and hunger. Politicians handing out food parcels is not helping the situation and it politicises the crisis,” SASFC said.

Meanwhile, the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) has issued a list of items included in the food parcels being distributed to communities.

This is after photos of food parcels allegedly distributed to communities emerged on social media, sparking questions about the make-up of the parcels.

According to Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi, the items seen in the photos were not from Sassa.

“You may want to check properly; that was not [a] Sassa package,” Letsatsi said.

Sassa also responded to a question on Twitter about whether the food parcels were worth R1,200.

“This is the Sassa specification for food parcels. Please don't believe any malice to the contrary that is peddled on these streets. To apply for social relief of distress please dial 0800 60 10 11 toll free and select option 3,” the agency said.

Here is a list of items included in the food parcels provided by Sassa:

  • Maize meal - 1 x 12.5kg;
  • Nutritional supplement - Morvite porridge or approved substitute;
  • Cooking oil - 2 x 750ml;
  • Pilchards - 6 x packs;
  • Soya mince - 3 x packs;
  • Sugar - 1 x 2.5kg;
  • Sugar beans - 1 x 2kg;
  • Bread flour - 1x 2.5kg;
  • Tea bags - 2 x 100;
  • Yeast - 2 x 10g;
  • Peanut butter - 1 x 500g;
  • Milk - 1 box of 6 x 1l;
  • Toothpaste - 2 x 100g;
  • Washing soap - 2 x 500g;
  • Sanitary towels - 3 x pack of 8

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