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SASSA’s Nelson Mandela Bay food parcel relief woefully inadequate: DA

Apr 8, 2020
SASSA’s Nelson Mandela Bay food parcel relief woefully inadequate: DA

Port Elizabeth - The Democratic Alliance in Nelson Mandela Bay on Wednesday said that the announcement by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) that only R45-million will be made available to the Eastern Cape to provide food parcels to the most needy in our society while the Coronavirus is sweeping through the country, will have a devastating impact on Nelson Mandela Bay.

"The Democratic Alliance (DA) in NMB met with a SASSA official last night, who confirmed that the R45-million would be divided into R5.9 million per district in the province, which would then be used for the distribution of food parcels," said Rano Kayser DA Cllr - PE Northern Areas Constituency Chairperson.

"The cost of a food parcel is between R1300 and R1500 and Nelson Mandela Bay consists of 60 wards, which means SASSA will only be able to provide around 72 food parcels per ward.

"This is woefully inadequate taking into consideration that Nelson Mandela Bay is the biggest Metro in the province and has a population of 1.2 million people.

"We have, therefore, requested the DA’s Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Social Development, Edmund van Vuuren, MPL, to write to the Eastern Cape MEC for Social Development,  Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi, to intervene and make more funds available to assist the most vulnerable in our society."

Kayser added that SASSA has requested that ward councillors facilitate the necessary administrative processes in relation to who qualifies for food parcels in terms of the regulations.

"The final arbitrator remains the Department of Social Development. Names will be forwarded to the relevant SASSA official by 16:30 today, 8 November 2020. Screening for the approval and distribution of food parcels will still be done by SASSA.

"Councillors will be informed within 24 hours after SASSA’s review of the submitted list and the agency will indicate which names have been removed due to non-compliance. Councillors will also be asked to substitute the names of those that have not been approved," he added.

"Food parcels will be distributed from the SASSA office in Cleary Park for those people living in the Northern Areas. This will be done in cooperation with ward councillors – who will be informed of delivery three days in advance.

"This is indeed scary because our councillors are set up for failure and accusations of being bias due to the fact that not all of those deserving of food parcels will receive this assistance."

Kayser said that the DA will keep putting pressure on the Department to make funds available to the needy living in our Metro.

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