North West social development MEC Boitumelo Moiloa. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)
North West social development MEC Boitumelo Moiloa. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

North West social development department denies hoarding of food parcels for media coverage

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Apr 20, 2020

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Johannesburg - As questions continue to grow on how food parcels are distributed during the lockdown, the Department of Social Development in the North West has dismissed accusations that food parcels were being used for politicking.

The denials from the department come after the DA in the North West accused North West social development MEC Boitumelo Moiloa of hoarding food parcels for her to distribute them personally to boost her media coverage.

The DA also alleged that the tender to distribute food parcels in the province was awarded to former social development MEC Hoffman Galeng. Food suppliers have also been accused of keeping some of the food parcels for their own use, the DA claimed.
 
“We are also concerned about serious allegations of factional battles concerning suppliers across the province. It is now time for Social Development MEC Boitumelo Moiloa to act decisively by being transparent on the process followed by her office,” DA North West spokesperson Gavin Edwards said. 

However, Moiloa’s office disputed the litany of allegations levelled by the DA. 

It said Moiloa denied the allegations and that food parcels were being distributed across the province. 

“North West MEC for Department of Social Development Boitumelo Moiloa dismisses with contempt the allegations levelled by Democratic Alliance against her department that food parcels are being stored in Matlosana for purposes of media coverage first before they could be distributed. We confirm that since lockdown period was declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the department has distributed food parcels to various needy families who were profiled and verified in Dr Kenneth Kaunda district,” the department said in a statement on Sunday.

The department insists that a system was in place to ensure that everyone received food parcels as need. 

“We would like to state categorically clear that the department has never issued a pamphlet with contacts details of coordinators at district offices. The department in collaboration with its entity South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), uses the Toll-Free number 0800601011 and 018 3973360 at the regional call centre situated in Mahikeng to handle applications for social relief to distressed families during the lockdown period,” the department said.

“We have currently handled 2 790 calls across the province at our regional call centre and out of these numbers, 382 calls are from Ngaka Modiri Molema District. We further wish to inform our communities that the department has created a systematic plan to ensure a transparent and fair process of distributing food parcels throughout the province during this lockdown period.”

The concerns around how food parcels have been distributed have continued to grow. Various councillors across the country have been accused of distributing parcels unfairly. Some ANC councillors have been accused of distributing food parcels to ANC supporters only.

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