Greater Giyani ward councillors continue to hand out food parcels in the dark
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Ward 28 councillor, Eliah Malungani and ward committee members have allegedly done what has now become a norm for ANC ward councillors in the Greater Giyani Municipality (GGM), by handing out food aid parcels when everyone is asleep.
Malungani and his peers apparently distributed food parcels under the cover of darkness on Thursday,18 June 2020. EPTASAWU President, Austin Mabasa warned of the criteria used by the municipality to hand out food aid parcels during this unprecedented period.
The municipality has resorted to handing out food parcels to destitute families through their ward councillors.Mabasa stressed that some dodgy things will continue to happen for as long as ward councillors are the ones to distribute food parcels.
In N’wa- Marhanga and Mphangani village, ka-Dzumeri outside Giyani, some members of the community who allegedly don’t qualify for food aid parcels were seen on Thursday night pushing wheelbarrows fully packed with food parcels. Similar reports were received in Mageva village, Ka- Dzumeri on 15 June.
GGM spokesperson, Steven Mavunda defended ward councillors saying that it’s the best way to distribute food parcels through ward councillors. “In the light of keeping the social-distance, ward councillors are the ones to deliver food parcels to the destitute families. Every time when a ward councillor had to deliver food parcels, we need a photo which is proof that the right person received the food, and also we have a form which the beneficiary should fill in,” he said.
One of the community members at Mphangani village said that ward 28 councillor, Malungani and his ward committee members gave food to their fellow ANC members. “We were told that those who qualify for these aid food parcels are those who are earning less than R800, but those people who benefited earn far more. They’re giving the food parcels to their family members and friends,” claimed the source.
Meanwhile, during the official launch of Mopani District Food Bank on 28 April by the Executive Mayor, Cllr Pule Shayi, he promised that they will help their people to confront hunger during this period of the lockdown.
Shayi was joined by mayors from the five local municipalities. Shayi said the food bank was in line with Mopani District Municipality’s vision “to be the food basket of Southern Africa.
The whole rationale is to ensure that in this difficult time when our people are struggling to get food, we are able to make our minimum contribution. The only way we can contribute in helping our people to defeat hunger is to ensure that we provide food parcels to the needy families,” said Shayi.
He distributed 245 food parcels which were shared equally amongst the five local municipalities. He once again reiterated the need for the involvement of key stakeholders in the identification of deserving beneficiaries, but also said that ward councillors must remain central in the process.
The notion that we can never agree with is that councillors must never play a role in this process. The people have elected these ward councillors. It is not all councillors who get up to mischief. Majority of these councillors are doing good work. We can’t get to a ward and say the councillor must not do this,” said Shayi.
He added that the councillors, working with ward committees, traditional leaders will identify the needy people within the wards and the list will go to the municipality. SASSA will use its own criteria. The list of the number of people who are not qualifying as per the SASSA criteria will be synergized with the list from the ward. “Let us mobilize food for our people. Let us give as per the list of identified beneficiaries. Let us not invite unnecessary publicity when we give. Let us give to the people who are deserving,” concluded Shayi. #StayHome