Gauteng Social Development shuts down call centre amid requests for food parcels

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says food parcels are not for those who are politically connected.
The Gauteng Department of Social Development has shut down its call centre. This comes after it was inundated with calls and requests for from hungry citizens nationwide.

The centre could not handle the demand and high call volumes.

Department spokesperson, Thabiso Hlongwane says by last week Friday, 8 000 families had been assisted and more are to benefit from the social relief program.

Hlongwane says, “The Department of Social Development established what we call a central food bank where food donations will be sent. The central food bank will feed all five food banks in the five regions.”

He adds, “As a result, the lists are still coming in and people are still getting food. We are calling for people to be patient with us because we cannot provide find at one go as we are dealing with a high volume of people who need assistance. Those that qualify, you must be an unemployed citizen, and the combined income of your family to be below 3 600.”

‘Food parcels not for politically connected’

Speaking this week at the launch of a COVID-19 food bank in Ekurhuleni on Gauteng’s East Rand, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said food parcels will only be given to those who need them most and not those who are politically connected.

The food bank is one of several in the province which have been opened to collect food donations for distribution to the poor through a ward-based system.

Makhura said they will ensure the food reaches the needy. He says that over three million people in Gauteng are food insecure, meaning they do not have enough food to last them for a week.

He added that those who qualify for food parcels will be identified through the municipality’s list of indigent families but this too will need to be scrutinized by social workers to ensure that deserving families get food.