South Africa: The Biggest Lockdown Threat - Hunger, Hunger, Everywhere

South Africa phasing in some amendments to lockdown, while keeping others in place

Protests and looting have broken out all over South Africa in recent days in response to one issue: hunger. It is now clear that hunger will pose the greatest threat to South African well-being and security during the lockdown - and the difficulties involved with getting food to millions of South Africans in need are tremendous.

The hunger of South Africans during the extended lockdown period is spilling over on to the streets. This week alone, grocery stores have been looted and protests have broken out on the Cape Flats, Khayelitsha, Alexandra and Chatsworth - to name just a few areas.

Cape Flats ward councillor Bongani Ngcani was quoted by News24 as saying: "A man told me: 'I would rather die of Covid-19 than of hunger' ".

It is clear that all three tiers of government are well aware of the threat posed by hunger. But the logistical challenges of providing food to potentially millions of South Africans under lockdown are monumental, and may not be able to be resolved through existing systems.

Problem #1: A lack of existing capacity for distributing food

When it comes to social support for the poor in South Africa, the responsibility technically falls to...

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