Parliament must assess impact of riots on old age, children’s homes and ECD centres’ access to food 

Please find attached soundbite by Bridget Masango MP.

The DA has written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee for Social Development, Mondli Gungubele, to request oversight visits to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng to assess the impact of the riots on social development infrastructure and services.

Widespread looting and destruction of infrastructure in these provinces have had devastating consequences for communities with residents struggling to access food, medicine, fuel and other necessities.

And while private individuals, NGOs and the communities all over the country are working hard to restore supply chain management and access to essentials, many families still have to queue for hours in lines that span whole city blocks in order to procure produce.

The Social Development Committee therefore has to urgently ascertain the needs and damage caused to homes for the vulnerable including old age homes, crèches, children’s homes, early childhood development centres and Community Nutrition and Development Centres (CNDCs). These homes often struggled with procurement of necessities before the anarchy unfolded and will undoubtedly be struggling now.

South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) pay points also need to be assessed to ensure that the poor and vulnerable have access to the grants.

President Cyril Ramaphosa committed the Department of Social Development and SASSA to intervene and alleviate the disastrous impact of the riots, and the committee must therefore comply to its oversight mandate over the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, her Department and SASSA. The committee would also benefit greatly from briefings by the provincial departments on how they will roll-out the relief as per the President’s instructions.

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