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Council to Rollout One Million Rand Food Relief Programme to the Covid19 Affected Residents of the Greater Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn, 21 April 2020 – Council has approved of One Million Rand from its funds to provide food relief to the Greater Oudtshoorn community that has been affected by the COVID19 pandemic.

“We are aware of the urgent need to roll-out food relief programme in the Greater Oudtshoorn Council and we are already busy securing additional funding towards our social relief programme. The COVID19 and Lockdown has and is still hitting hard on the already stretched resources and pockets of individuals and families in the Greater Oudtshoorn,” said Mayor Colan Sylvester.

“Apart from our food relief, the Municipality received about 400 food parcels from donors in and around the Greater Oudtshoorn. We would like to extend a hearty appreciation to all organisations, businesses and individuals who opened their hearts to support the needy members of the community of the Greater Oudtshoorn.”

Mayor Sylvester assured that distribution of the first batch of food packages is imminent. “These food packages will be distributed to all wards before end of the day today. Each ward will receive about 30 food parcels. Wheels on Meals and MOD Centre Non-Profit organisations will distribute the food parcels in the various wards on behalf of Council.”

Cllr. Sylvester gave assurance to the citizens of the Greater Oudtshoorn that the Council funded food relief programme is still underway and is to be released within this week. “Our food relief will be released in phases; the first phase will take place at the end of the week and the more phases will follow next week. We are working towards distributing the 1600 food hampers, latest by Friday, 24 April 2020.”

“We have registered approximately 11 000 applicants for our food relief programme and the checking and verification of the applications is taking a bit longer than we anticipated. SASSA and the Department of Social Development (DSD) are assisting the Council to verify and allocate beneficiaries from the Council’s list of registered applicants for food relief. The purpose for the verification process is to ensure fairness in the allocation of beneficiaries and distribution.”

The Supply Chain Management process was undertaken where a tender was advertised to source suppliers for the purchase of the food packages. This was done in terms of the COVID19 Pandemic Disaster Management Emergency Procurement process, which makes provision to procure within a short timeframe. While the procurement or the tender to purchase food parcels was advertised only for seven days instead of the normal 30 days, Council had to ensure that the entire process is fair, transparent, competitive, cost efficient and equitable.

We understand the plight of the communities during this very difficult time, and we are doing everything in our power to speed up the process of food distribution. We also want to state at the same time that not everyone who applied to receive food, will receive food.

The applications are being scrutinised by SASSA and DSD to ensure that applicants that have already received food from SASSA, DSD and other organisations do not receive food again whilst there are families that have not yet been assisted. This means that the number of applicants might decrease as part of the verification process.

We appeal to the citizens of the Greater Oudtshoorn to continue extending their hands to the needy. We need one another more than ever before.