Lockdown: 2 NPOs deliver close to R6 million in food aid, soaps and sanitisers

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File photo - NGOs are assisting the hungry during the lockdown.
File photo - NGOs are assisting the hungry during the lockdown.

Operation SA and the South African National Zakaat Fund (Sanzaf) have donated over 256 tons of food aid since the lockdown started in March. 

According to the statement, both non-profit organisations have delivered close to R6 million in food aid, soaps and sanitisers to the Gauteng social development department's central warehouse in Johannesburg. The aid has helped around 15 000 families.

READ: 'I would rather have something to eat than worry about being embarrassed - Pensioner

"We have never seen such levels of desperation. People are crying for help more and more every day. We are inundated with calls from across the country," Operation SA's Yusuf Abramjee said.

"We appeal to the public, corporates and charities to continue to make a difference," added Abramjee.

Sanzaf’s Shauket Fakie saluted those who had distributed millions of rands of aid to the weak and vulnerable.

Food hampers

"The Muslim community has provided aid of almost R66 million so far. The SA Muslim Covid-19 Task Team encourages all to please continue to serve."

Fakie also welcomed the announcement that the government would make 250 000 food hampers available. 

"We appeal to the government to move at speed and get the aid delivered as a matter of urgency. We hope red tape, corruption and inefficiency will not derail the process."

READ: Lockdown: 'Yesterday I only ate plain pap' - Foreign nationals living in Diepsloot struggle financially

The two organisations are calling for donations to the central warehouse to continue because the lockdown still impacts vulnerable citizens.  

"We are also engaging other NPOs to see how we can get more aid to those on the ground without delay. We also have to find a way to see how we can help smaller charities and shelters, who are not getting any help," Abramjee and Fakie said in a joint statement. 

Both NPOs also commended Gauteng's acting Social Development MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, and his team for their hard work "under difficult circumstances".

They also fully supported the call by Lesufi and others that those involved in abusing the distribution of food hampers be brought to book.

The social development department has distributed some R80 million in aid since the lockdown began. 

- Compiled by Alex Mitchley

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