The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng welcomes the decision by the Acting Gauteng MEC for Social Development, Panyaza Lesufi to withdraw the guidelines on food donations and distribution by NGOs in the province.
In a media statement released by his department, he indicates that the withdrawal of these guidelines comes after an extensive engagement with the Premier’s Office on challenges raised by organisations who found the guidelines difficult to follow for the distribution of food to our communities. However, the department has indicated that the fact that the guidelines have been withdrawn does not stop anybody from working with the department to distribute food.
For far too long the DA has been calling on MEC Lesufi to remove this unnecessary red tape regarding food donations and distributions by NGOs as they are crippling the operations of NGOs who are assisting our people who are in desperate need of food.
These guidelines were set to monopolise all food distribution and assistance to the vulnerable, while our people in Gauteng suffer from starvation.
Should the MEC have listened to our call these guidelines would have been withdrawn without the DA having to report the department to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and having to take the matter to the High Court where the interim judgement was in favour of the DA.
If the acting MEC and his department had listened to NGOs and civil society, the DA would not have taken the legal route. This should be a lesson to government not to use their power to impose unnecessary red tape against any organisation helping to fight hunger.
This is a victory for our people who are hungry for food and solely dependent on cooked meals provided by the NGOs. Government alone cannot render this service.
The DA will continue to monitor the distribution and donations of food by the NGOs to ensure that no one prohibits them from distributing cooked meals to the hungry in this province.