South Africa: Fear and Frustration Mounting As Eastern Cape Communities Await Food Parcels


People in poorer communities everywhere are getting increasingly desperate for food aid. In Nelson Mandela Bay, councillors and community leaders say they are worried about what will happen if scores of families fail to receive food relief promised by the South African Social Security Agency or the Department of Social Development. In a single township, close to 3,000 families have applied for food relief from the department - but, says a city councillor, there's just not the budget for that.

With province-wide unemployment at 39.5% and more and more people losing their income during the lockdown, communities are getting increasingly desperate over the lack of food supplies in the Eastern Cape. Many councillors are now saying that there simply will not be enough for all who need.

The province currently has the highest unemployment rate in the country.

In March 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the outbreak of coronavirus infections in the country to be a national disaster and declared a 21-day lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of the disease. Only essential workers are allowed to work.

SASSA spokesperson Luzuko Qina said the outbreak of the coronavirus infections in the country is an extraordinary global crisis which...

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