Parliament, Saturday, 30 May 2020 – A joint meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development and the Select Committee on Health and Social Services has called for the Department of Social Development to partner with local community-based organisations, including faith based organisations, in the coordination and distribution of food security programmes.
The committees yesterday met with various non-governmental organisations involved in food distribution during the Covid-19 pandemic. The organisations included the Gift of the Givers, the Solidarity Fund, Food Forward South Africa and the South African Red Cross Society. The committees commended these organisations on their good work in distributing food to the needy.
The organisations all voiced a desire for better co-ordination between themselves and the department in relation to food distribution. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented high demand for food, which has caused a significant increase in their beneficiaries. It is in this regard that the organisations emphasised the important role played by community-based organisations and the need for government to work with them. These community-based organisations bridge the gap to cover areas where national organisations are unable to reach. The non-governmental organisations have called for the development of a multispectral plan that will outline the roles of government and civil society as well as regulate their coordination.
It is for this reason that the committees believe that the department should utilise its existing community-based centres to interact with local community-based organisations. This will not only ensure that the food reaches the right people, but will also assist the department to listen to their concerns and address them. Co-Chairperson Mr Mondli Gungubele emphasised that the state is always accountable and responsive to the needs of the people unconditionally. The committees noted the concern raised about some who are not eligible for any government interventions, but who are nonetheless in distress.
The committees reiterated their concerns regarding the duplication of food parcels due to poor coordination. The committees noted efforts made by the department to address this challenge and requested the department to provide a detailed report on the compliance of non-governmental organisations when collaborating with the department in the area of food security.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, MR MONDLI GUNGUBELE, AND THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, MS MAURENCIA GILLION.
For media enquiries, please contact the committees’ Media Officer:
Name: Ms Faith Ndenze
Parliamentary Communication Services
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