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Directives on Food Distribution During COVID-19 Lockdown in the Pipeline

May 12, 2020

Department of Social Development

Directives to facilitate coordinated food distribution during the COVID-19 lockdown are being drawn up.

The social development minister, Lindiwe Zulu, revealed this in a statement on the social development department response to the Coronavirus Covid-19 Level 4 Risk Adjusted Approach.

The minister referred to challenges experienced when the private sector and non-profit organisations (NPO) distribute food parcels in an uncoordinated manner separate from local municipalities, provinces and law enforcement agencies.

“This uncoordinated food distribution creates duplication, partisan and corruption challenges, whilst proper coordination structures and mechanisms at national and in provinces exists we acknowledge it is not enough.”

The proposed directives will encourage NPO’s to coordinate with municipalities, provinces and law enforcement agencies to ensure that they distribute food in a more coordinated manner.

The minister pointed out that, as of 30 April, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has received over 80 000 applications for Social Relief of Distress out of which 57 763 applications were eligible.

“To date, over 34 thousand food parcels were distributed and the balance will be distributed before the end of this month.”

With reference to amended directives gazetted on 11 May, 30% of the SASSA workforce will be allowed to return to work on a rotational basis to continue to render social services to South Africans.

SASSA local offices will progressively open as from 11 May 2020.

This is also part of preparations for the rollout of the special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant.

The amount to be paid to qualifying applications will be R350 per month from May – October 2020.

Qualifying citizens can apply for the grant by means of:

• The new WHATSAPP line will be 082 0468 553.
• The USSD or SMS Line will be 1347737#.
• The email address will be srd@sassa.gov.za.