Covid-19: Minister Zulu confirms SA's new food parcel directives

Covid-19: Minister Zulu confirms SA's new food parcel directives

- The government will now be regulating how vulnerable citizens will receive food donations

- This comes as the Department of Social Development was accused of planning to gazette laws to prohibit the distribution of cooked foods to communities

- The government vowed to distribute critical food parcels door-to-door according to new, vague directives

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Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu has confirmed that changes will be made to how food donations are distributed amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Regulatory changes will be made to protect citizens receiving parcels during the pandemic with the minister slamming claims that the state intends to gazette laws prohibiting the distribution of cooked food.

The Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, has confirmed that regulatory changes will be made to protect citizens receiving food donations.

“[Minister Zulu] has noted with grave concern the false allegations in the media that the Department intends to prohibit the distribution of food parcels and cooked food to households and communities that are most in need of humanitarian relief.”

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Instead, a new approach will be implemented to govern the way food donations are distributed after issues relating to the large crowds that gather when help arrives.

“The Department has recognised and has been informed of several incidents of long queues and overcrowding at food-parcel distribution areas across the country. The current uncoordinated situation of the distribution of food parcels creates an environment for the spread of this deadly virus amongst the most vulnerable. Protecting our people against the possible infection of this deadly virus is as important as providing food relief.”

Failing to offer much in the way of clarity over the new protocol to be followed, the Department said that.

“To avoid the recurrence of such incidents and to comply with the lockdown regulations, the Department drafted directives on coordination of food donations and other humanitarian relief efforts. The rationale for these directives is that humanitarian responses to a crisis of this magnitude often involve large numbers of national and international organisations who work in the same geographical areas."

The current method, according to the statement issued, was leaving gaps in the coverage of humanitarian aid.

"Failure to work together amongst these organisations can lead to gaps in coverage and duplication of humanitarian relief efforts. For this reason, the Department has drafted directives to ensure the finality of the collaboration and coordination of our relief efforts."

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