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Don't politicise handing out of food parcels, says Minister Zulu

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said that her department had never tried to prevent NGOs from distributing food parcels to the hungry and needy.

Food parcels distributed to resident of Booysens informal settlement on 29 April 2020. Pictures: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said that her department had never tried to prevent NGOs from distributing food parcels to the hungry and needy.

Zulu and her department on Thursday briefed Parliament's Social Development portfolio committee on the department's programmes during lockdown, including its interventions to address foster care cases.

Minister Lindiwe Zulu's remarks follow a complaint lodged by the DA with the Human Rights Commission following what it called a "supposed instruction" from the department prohibiting NGOs from distributing cooked food during the lockdown period.

But Zulu said that the department wanted to rather work with NGOs and not stop them while the poor went hungry.

"They must take into consideration all the health issues, all the COVID-19 protocols... that's all we're asking."

Zulu also appealed to people to not politicise food parcels in the face of hunger.

"And we must not be dragged into arguments over food parcels and other things and forget about the fact that we have old age homes, drug rehabilitation centres..."

The department said that it had increased the number of food parcels handed out this week to 670,000 compared to last week's 525,000, feeding 2.7 million people.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.

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