THE #NotInMyName movement has been warned it could be barred from distributing food parcels. Picture: Rapula Moatshe
THE #NotInMyName movement has been warned it could be barred from distributing food parcels. Picture: Rapula Moatshe

#NotInMyName could be barred from distributing food parcels

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Apr 30, 2020

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Pretoria - Civil rights group #NotInMyName could be barred from distributing food parcels should it continue to do so outside of the guidelines stipulated by the Gauteng Department of Social Development.

The warning was issued by department spokesperson Thabiso Hlongwane following a statement by the movement that it was opposed to the guidelines prohibiting NPOs from distributing food.

In terms of the guidelines, all NPOs are expected to gather food parcels and hand them to the department, which would then co-ordinate the distribution to recipients.

Hlongwane yesterday told the Pretoria News that those who were likely to flout the guidelines would be stopped from distributing food parcels.

Secretary of #NotInMyName Themba Masango said they were discouraged from handing over food parcels to the department given its “history of mismanagement of funds”.

“If they can't manage their own budget on a national level, how can they be entrusted with this entire project considering that it is already failing thousands of South Africans, hence, the genesis of all these food parcel drives?”

Masango questioned the motive of granting the civil rights movement a certificate to operate as an essential service provider.

“What is the purpose of certifying businesses or organisations as essential services if the businesses or organisations cannot perform their core and true social mandate? Is it not redundant?”

He also lamented the fact that there was a shortage of SAPS officers in the country to guard all the food distribution points.

“Reports state that South Africa has a shortage of SAPS officials according to international standards. Are we then in the possession of the capacity to have SAPS present at every food distribution point in the country daily?”

Masango cast doubt on government's ability to handle cases of councillors implicated in food theft.

“Communities have been accusing ward councillors of corruption - relief efforts do not reach the intended beneficiaries. How has the Department of Social Development resolved that and how will they ensure that donations delivered at their warehouse will not be subject to more corruption?” he said.

Hlongwane refuted claims that social development had a history of mismanaging public funds.

“There is no founding report that says the department has mismanaged funds on food parcels. The allegations are therefore flawed.”

He said the department had a good track record and capacity of distributing food in the province, and there were at least 200000 beneficiaries annually who were already receiving food parcels before the lockdown.

Under the lockdown, he said, the department had already donated food parcels to at least 190000 persons in Gauteng, and the processes adopted by the department to distribute food parcels were legitimate and verifiable.

“This morning (yesterday) 6000 food parcels were distributed in Tshwane, and the SAPS was present, and everything went smoothly,” Hlongwane said.

He said the food parcel distribution guidelines were meant to eliminate the element of corruption in the process.

He advised the NPOs to hand over food to the department's central food bank, which would dispatch them to the five food banks in the province.

Hlongwane said the organisations that were likely to flout the regulation would be stopped from distributing food parcels.

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Pretoria News

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