Democratic Alliance calls on Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, to avail R1 billion in additional funding towards mitigating the increasing levels of hunger across the country due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
DA said calls on government to release an additional R1 billion in the form of direct cash payments to the needy or in the form of food vouchers.
“This would be in addition to the DA’s call for a R 1000 grant top-up for all grant recipients for three months,” DA said.
The extension of the lockdown has left many households cash-strapped and uncertain about where the next meal will come from. Food vouchers or additional cash in hand could be the difference between a family going hungry or not.
The party said majority of households across the country have, for the past 25 days since the start of the lockdown, not been able to access any wages.
This has resulted in increased levels of social discontent as millions of South Africans face the very real possibility of starvation.
They added that food crisis has been further aggravated by allegations that some ANC councillors in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, North-West, Free State, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and Limpopo have looted food parcels and in some cases prevented food parcels from reaching opposition-wards.
“We are disgusted by this inhumane and deplorable behaviour and reiterate our call for the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to investigate the matter,” DA statement reads.
The Democratic Alliance calls on finance minister with the view that councillors and politicians in general, should not be involved in the distribution of food parcels, cash payments or distribution of food vouchers as it creates ripe conditions for looting and political abuse.
The Department of Social Development is mandated to provide social relief during a disaster and the management and distribution of this relief is the responsibility of SASSA.
However, National Government’s measures to mitigate a food crisis are wholly inadequate primarily due to capacity constraints, corruption and a lack of funding.
“This has resulted in local governments, having to fill the gap left by National Government despite their limited mandates and lack of funding,” DA has stated.
According principle of DA-led governments across the country, authorities have partnered with local NGO’s, organizations, private donors, farmers and businesses to ensure food relief flows to the most vulnerable communities.
“We commend these governments for their interventions,” DA statement reads.