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Lesufi relaxes regulations for distributing food after FF Plus request

The acting Gauteng MEC for Social Development, Panyaza Lesufi, had no other choice but to grant the FF Plus's request to repeal the Department's regulations for the distribution of food in the province.

Two weeks ago, the party asked Lesufi to allow NGOs to supply food to the needy. It is inhumane to send starving people, especially children and the elderly, away empty handed.

Both the FF Plus's national chairperson, adv Anton Alberts, and an MPL in the Gauteng Legislature, Amanda de Lange, sent official letters to the Premier, David Makhura, and Lesufi respectively in which objection to Lesufi's regulations was strongly expressed and the far-reaching implications of these regulations for starving and needy people were highlighted. Alberts and De Lange also engaged personally with the Premier and the MEC regarding the matter.

The FF Plus requested Lesufi to rather instruct his Department to support soup kitchens in their charity work so as to help look after those people who have been let down by the government. The organisations with which the party has contact are more than willing to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations. They are even distributing face masks and hand sanitisers among the needy.

The regulations stipulated that NGO's that have a permit may only distribute non-perishable food parcels. However, the people who are starving and living on the streets do not have the resources needed to cook or store food, so they are entirely dependent on the sandwiches that they get from the soup kitchen every day.

The FF Plus also cautioned Lesufi that the government cannot be solely responsible for the distribution of food seeing as it is simply not sustainable.

People's goodwill may not be politicised and that is why the FF Plus approached Makhura and Lesufi directly and did not wait for the High Court to make a ruling – it emphasises the urgency of the matter.
The repealing of the regulations shows what can be achieved by keeping the pressure on when the government's conduct is unreasonable.

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