Department of Social Development
The demand for food security is increasing which calls for a rethink on how the challenges are to be addressed.
The social development department highlighted this in a briefing in parliament on social sector updates on COVID-19 interventions.
The department added that multi-pronged approaches that include migration from the current manual food parcel distribution to a hybrid model that will instil people’s right to choose and restore human dignity should be explored.
Other issues that should be explored include digital M&E systems that will capture real time data on food distribution; ways to boost coordination mechanisms and establish lasting partnerships with business and civil society organizations and setting up a programme on linking beneficiaries with economic and sustainable livelihood opportunities in order to create self-reliant individuals and communities.
The department indicated that StatsSA projects that the economic impact of COVID-19 will leave about 50% of the population at risk of being food insecure.
In terms of the COVID-19 R350 Social Relief of Distress Grant, the department pointed out that the largest residual payment for the month of May 2020 has been finalised and paid on 22 July 2020.
It added that, going forward, payments will, as far as possible, be sequenced and prioritised according to the initial date of application.
The department confirmed that applicants that were previously disqualified due to database errors have since been reconsidered and those that met the criteria have been notified and paid.