The Department of Social Development says there is a need for better coordination between non-governmental organisations and government in the distribution of food parcels to the poor during the coronavirus lockdown. Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu says there have been differences over the disbursement of the meals with NGOs demanding authority in certain areas.

Bogopane-Zulu says the Department, as the authority on the formal registration of NGOs, is obliged to take the lead.

“We are experiencing a lot of duplication and competition in the space. We having the same beneficiaries benefiting from an NGO and from government and we can improve on coordination. Also, the second part is accountability.”

In the video below, Mthatha residents are unhappy with the food parcels distribution process:

NGOs keen on helping government 

Earlier in May, Civil rights group #NotInMyName urged government to allow them to assist the needy by delivering food parcels, arguing that NGOs have a better understanding of the needs of various communities. This came after the Department of Social Development called on NGOs that want to distribute food parcels, to instead hand the meals over to the department for distribution.

The department argued that the groups may flout lockdown regulations should they distribute the food parcels by themselves.

#NotInMyName Secretary-General, Themba Masango, however, had misgivings about government’s call, questioning capacity to do so.

The distribution of the meals has not been without corruption claims. In April, some government officials were accused of hoarding or selling food parcels. President Cyril Ramaphosa hit back, calling for harsh consequences against those involved.

In the video below, SANCO raises the alarm over alleged discrimination in the food parcels distribution:

In the video below, the Hawks are probing  food parcel fraud claims in the Northern Cape: