The DA can reveal that the Department of Health spends close to R500 million to treat more than 14 000 children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) each year.
This is according to a reply to a DA parliamentary question.
This is a sad reality, especially as malnutrition is a preventable condition.
If government prioritises resources to vulnerable mothers in the first 1000 days of an infant's life, it is a fact that fewer children will be admitted to hospital with this terrible condition.
Approximately 40 children, under the age of 5, are admitted for SAM every day. Of the 40 children, 4 of those pass away on average.
It is borderline inhumane that our poor and vulnerable children are made to suffer in such a terrible way when they do not have to.
The DA has already written to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) calling for a national investigative hearing. We welcome that the matter is now being considered at a national level by the commission.
The DA has long fought for an increase in the social grants to try and combat the malnutrition crisis our country is facing. However, the ANC voted against our budget vote declaration proposal twice.
We simply cannot expect mothers to feed their children with R380 a month. This meagre amount is not enough to ensure that a child receives the nutritional value they need.