Food Security: reports by provincial implementing agencies

Social Development

14 November 2018
Chairperson: Ms R Capa (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Social Development spoke about the implementation of the Household Food and Nutrition Security Programme and the role of provincial food and nutrition implementing agents. Provincial implementing agents were in attendance and each gave a briefing on their organisations; giving the location of feeding and development centres, the challenges experienced and their advice for ensuring an exit strategy for the beneficiaries of the programme.

Members asked for specific details about the location of these centres so that they could visit them and perform personal oversight. There was collective anger that so many South Africans were experiencing food insecurity. Members said that there had not yet been a significant change in the lives of people as more and more areas were needing these services. The suggestions and challenges outlined by the provincial implementing agents would be useful to provide to the Department’s strategic planning sessions.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks
The Chairperson welcomed the Department of Social Development (DSD) which is working to end poverty and hunger in South Africa. She was grateful to have the people responsible for the work done on ground level present at the meeting to give feedback on their experiences as implementing agents. She asked them to give brief introductions about themselves. She noted the numerous world-wide reports released about poverty.

In South Africa, poverty in the provinces with large cities was found in the peripheral regions and informal settlement; however, in poorer provinces poverty was endemic and widespread. Hunger and starvation lead to serious health problems. In third world countries it was a serious concern that people were dying from starvation. In this country there were people who lived very privileged lives whilst many were left to starve.

Apologies were given for the Minister and the Director-General and the Deputy Director-General was leading the Department team.

Ms S Tsoleli (ANC) expressed concern about the DG being absent from the meeting.

Mr Peter Netshipale, DSD Deputy Director-General: Community Development, explained that the DG was assisting the Minister and he would possibly join the meeting late.

The Chairperson said that the DG needed to be present to be accountable for the work of the Department.

Household Food and Nutrition Security Programme briefing  
Mr Peter Netshipale, DSD Deputy Director-General: Community Development, briefed the Committee on the role of provincial food distributors, gave an overview of food security, what the programme aimed to do, and how implementing agents were appointed.

The mandate to implement food security in South Africa stemmed from the Constitution itself. The right to food and water was entrenched as a constitutional mandate. Section 27 required the state to “respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights”. The National Development Plan identified food insecurity as both a consequence of poverty and inequality as well as a cause. In global terms, the relevant Sustainable Development Goals were: Goal 1: End poverty; Goal 2: End hunger; and Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

In 2013 Cabinet approved the National Policy on Food and Nutrition Security with a goal to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of safe and nutritional food at national and household levels; together with the Household Food (HHF) and Nutrition Security Strategy. The Strategy called on the DSD to establish a robust network of Food Distribution Centres backed by a substantially larger financial commitment from the fiscus. The HHF and Nutrition model was developed to shift the Department’s focus from a food banking model, which had food rescue as a main source of food and resulted in an unbalanced nutritious food basket. The focus was on a vision of optimal food security and enhanced nutritional status for all South Africans. The HHF and Nutrition Security Strategy model focused on nutrition and development through provincial distribution centres and Community Nutritional Development Centres (CNDCs).

To end hunger in this country would take more than the work of the Department alone. This goal required integrated work from all government departments as well as the municipalities.  Mr Netshipale described the food and nutritional status outcomes and percentage indicators for each. These included:
▪ Individuals with inadequate or severely inadequate access to food: 24.9% in 2016 — this was good progress from 28.6% in 2010.
▪ Childhood stunting <60 months: 27%, this had worsened from 24% in 2005.
▪ Obese women >15 years: 41% in 2016, this had worsened from 24.8% in 2012.
▪ Overweight men >15 years: 20.3% in 2016, this had worsened from 19.6% in 2012.

A graph to express the percentage breakdown of households experiencing food access adequacy, inadequacy or severe inadequacy by province was given. Northern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga had the highest percentages of households that had severely inadequate access to nutritional food at 12.9%, 12.5% and 11.4% respectively. Limpopo and Gauteng achieved well in that 91.8% and 84%, respectively, of the population had adequate access to food. As a whole, in South Africa there were still 13 738 824 persons (24.9% of the population) with inadequate access to food.

In April 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Global Food Banking Network for support in establishing Food Banks (FBs) in South Africa. FBs acquired food from the food supply chain and provided infrastructure for storage, preservation and distribution to the poor and vulnerable through community centres. The positive aspects for this approach included collaboration with the Consumer Goods Council towards mobilising food donations, leveraging on surplus food from manufacturers and retailers, partnership with donors, and community based organisation (NPOs). The negative aspects included the high cost of collecting food, unreliable quantity and quality of food donations (example: formula food for babies), food poisoning risks, poor coverage of rural areas and the centralised distribution network under FoodBankSA.

The Household Food and Nutrition Security Programme (HF&NSP) had a particular strategic focus on investing significant funding in raising the micro-nutrient intake of beneficiaries participating in the programme, to combat the growing challenge of malnutrition and hunger. It provided access to the poorest of the poor, especially between the ages of 19 to 59 years old. It dealt with pockets of hunger and malnutrition that was found in rural, informal settlements and poor communities. The establishment of Provincial Food Distribution Centres (PFDCs) and Community Nutrition and Development Centres (CNDCs) were thus a strategic intervention to fulfill government’s objective to ensure access to food by the poor and vulnerable.

Mr Netshipale described the Food Distribution Model.

The broad objectives of the HF&NSP were:
▪ Provision of nutritious meals to food insecure and vulnerable individuals and households;
▪ Procurement of food from local producers to ensure participation of emerging producers and bulk cost effective food sourcing;
▪ Provision of logistical support to ensure procurement of produce from community food producers;
▪ Facilitate skills training and empowerment of communities in partnership with technical partners and other relevant sector departments (Departments of Rural Development and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry);
▪ Facilitate the donation of food from other sources to the CNDCs.

The HF&NSP was established in 2013/14. National Treasury provided guidance on the recruitment of implementing agents through a Call for Proposals and the funding mechanisms for programme roll-out. The call for proposal process involved advertising for NPOs to apply, screening and shortlisting of applications by an Evaluation Committee comprised of national and provincial officials, proposal evaluations, site visits and physical verification and adjudication. The selected provincial implementing agents (PIAs) were vetted and approved by National Treasury prior to their appointment. The appointed PIAs entered into an agreement through by signing a contract and annual renewal subject to satisfactory performance in service delivery and appropriate managements of the allocated budget and resources. National and Provincial DSD undertake Quarterly Performance Assessments to review performance of PIAs. National and provincial learning workshops were facilitated. 

Mr Netshipale gave an overview of the programme model, funding and sources of funding, implementation in provinces and progress on programme operations.

The role of PIAs included:
▪ Provide equipment (table, chairs, stove), cutlery and crockery to CNDCs;
▪ Strategic procurement of food from local food producers and supplies;
▪Ensure proper management of the programme within the province that it was based;
▪ Monitor service delivery by the CNDCs in communities;
▪ Technical support; and
▪ Project administration, staffing and human resource management.

Mr Netshipale spoke to the benefits of the CNDC model as well as the effectiveness of the programme. For 2018/19, the total budget was R109 910 000 (R59 943 000 from National Treasury and the remaining R49 967 000 from Provincial Treasuries). A total of 223 CNDCs were funded; 84 funded by National Treasury and 139 CNDCs funded by Provincial Treasuries. The budgets per PIA and number of CNDCs per province were given.

In Quarter 1 of 2018/19, 53 924 people were fed and in Quarter 2, 42 911 people were fed. The number of people fed in Q1 and Q2 per PIA/province was tabulated; as well as the food procurement from local food producers: Co-ops supported, Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) supported, and the amount spent by each PIA per quarter of 2018/19. There were 952 cooks and 547 cooks trained. The PFDCs and CNDCs throughout the country created 1 470 jobs. Capital assets allocated to PIAs included: a fleet of delivery vehicles, a forklift, a cold room and racking.

DSD has undertaken the design and implementation evaluation of the HF&NSP in 2018/19. The outcomes of the evaluation would be shared once the final report has been made available. The purpose is to assess the appropriateness of the implementation and design of the HF&NSP in addressing and identifying hunger challenges in the country. As from 2020/21 the national transfer allocation for funding the HF&NSP will be moved to the equitable share of provinces. National would continue to monitor and provide regular support.

Some of the challenges identified were:
▪ Delayed funding of PIAs by Provincial DSDs;
▪ Non funding/insufficient funding of the development programmes to exit beneficiaries;
▪ Insufficient coverage of deprived wards and communities;
▪ Poor CNDC infrastructure in targeted deprived areas; and
▪ Limited capacity to supply consistent quantity and quality food products by Co-ops.

Some of the proposed solutions:
▪ Consultation with provinces on timely processes of funding for NPOs;
▪ Foster partnerships with development institutions and other relevant government Departments;
▪ Consultation with stakeholders;
▪ Expansion of CNDC networks to target the most poor and deprived wards; and
▪ Lobby for production and agro-processing support and capacity building for co-ops supplying food.

The Chairperson asked that each PIA present on where their PFDC and CNDCs were located in the province, their challenges and any needs for which the PIA required assistance from DSD.

Eastern Cape provincial implementing agent
Mr Ayanda Zono, PFDC Manager for Nowesi Community Development, said his briefing was informed by the submitted reports on the ground-level work to national DSD. On the disturbance with feeding in Quarter 2, the greatest challenge was the time it took for funding to be transferred. There was a huge delay in funding which lead to the interruption of feeding at CNDCs within the province. In Q1, 4 208 people accessed the programme but this number reduced to only 1 630 in Q2.

Nowesi was established in 2002 and the head office was in Queenstown. The operating warehouse was in Fort Jackson, East London – which was the most central town to reach all the CNDCs. The districts served had a minimum of two CNDCs each. National funds 8 CNDCs and Provincial funds another 14.

The Chairperson asked when Nowesi became the appointed organisation for this programme.

Mr Netshipale replied that Nowesi took the place of the previous organisation in 2016.

Ms Tsoleli said she was from Joe Gqabi district in Eastern Cape and asked if there were centres there.

The Chairperson said that the districts that were the most food insecure should be where this programme had its largest footprint.

Mr Netshipale replied that there was a list with all the CNDCs and addresses for each which could be provided to the Members. In Joe Gqabi, there was a CNDC in Eludini municipality and in Gariep.

The Chairperson said that food insecurity had led to the deaths of 19 children in the Eastern Cape.

Ms Tsoleli had a concern about the progress being made. Millions of rands were spent to combat food insecurity in the country which should have meant that good progress had been accomplished. In reality, those millions were not reaching the ground level in the deep rural and poverty-stricken areas. The overview by the PIAs would not be enough and asked if a detailed report could be provided to the Committee. It needed to be known if the programme was helping those vulnerable people in less accessible communities.  It was also important to have the details of which communities were struggling with stunted growth and children with foetal alcohol syndrome and to what extent.

The Chairperson requested that the PIAs focus on the specific details of the challenges experienced. She said that the Department could not work with implementing agents that did not know enough about the communities and the people the PIAs were working to assist.

Mr Netshipale explained that the implementing agents worked to serve those who were the most vulnerable and poor in the poorest of communities.

The Chairperson said that DSD was responsible for this national programme. The outcome of delayed funding was a clear violation of the principle of the programme. She asked why the Eastern Cape had become the province with the most food insecurity. The partners working on this programme could not be allowed to pull out (thus delaying funding) and leave vulnerable people to go hungry.

Ms Tsoleli said this programme was meant to contribute to the development of communities and the country. It was very sad that partners had pulled out in the midst of the programme. Problems like this were very serious and had to be resolved. To have 13 million people in South Africa going hungry everyday was a huge amount. The implementing agents needed to have a passion for this work so that they could take the extra measures and know the dynamics of the communities they service.

Ms B Masango (DA) asked if the people in the Eastern Cape were fed by another programme when the PIA could not. It was inconceivable to think that 3000 people were not fed during Q2.

The Chairperson asked Mr Netshipale if it was reported to him when the Province pulled out from the funding role.

Mr Netshipale replied it was reported to him. The Heads of Provincial Departments request that funds be transferred to the PIAs.

The Chairperson said that it was never reported to the Committee. The Committee does not receive reports from the provinces but solving food insecurity was a priority for the Committee.

Ms V Mogotsi (ANC) said that children less than five years of age were the most vulnerable to the consequences of food insecurity. She asked the programme to help feed them. She asked that the PIAs share how they deal with the problem of children going hungry in their province, if at all.

Mr Zono said that the presentation indicated the target group was people between the ages of 19 and 59 years. However, kids were not sent away from the feeding centres. Children were more than welcome to access food through this programme, and the provincial reports did include the numbers and age groups of those who came. He was glad the Members shared the same sentiment towards the disturbance in feeding. The people accessing the programme were not just statistics. The PIAs knew them by name and the people had the contact details of the PIAs. The people phone the PIAs when someone faints because there was no food in the centre. The interruption of feeding, which lasted about three months, was very serious. The PIAs had no say in where the CNDCs were placed as that decision was made according to the statistics collected and given by the provincial Departments. It was also important for the PIAs to purchase food products from retailers and producers nearest to the CNDCs to inspire economic activity in those areas and to decrease transportation times.

The Chairperson said that DSD and the PIAs must prepare another report on the details of the programme strengths and weaknesses. It must take into account the death of those 19 children.

Free State provincial implementing agent
Dyke Mbuli, PFDC Manager of Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), said that ADRA was the humanitarian face of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. ADRA was a global humanitarian organisation that served people in more than 130 countries. This meant that it had high standards to uphold as it was monitored by the South African Government and ADRA itself. The head office was in Bloemfontein though it was registered nationally. Personnel for this programme included a director, financial director and an accountant who were paid directly by ADRA SA. There was a site office in QwaQwa for this project specifically which had a manager, office administrator, CNDC co-ordinator, three drivers and four packers which were paid by the programme. National DSD funded ADRA with R5.9 million which was distributed to cover the stipends and food procurement for eight CNDCs, logistics like transportation, maintenance and warehousing as well as the PFDC personnel salaries mentioned. Free State DSD funded an additional R6 million which covered 32 CNDCs food procurement and supply as well as some transportation costs. The province has a population of 2.8 million people, which was 5.1% of the national population. There was one metropolitan, five district municipalities and 19 local municipalities. The unemployment rate stands at 34.4% and the poverty rate stands at 26%. All 40 of the CNDCs were profiled by the provincial DSD.

The Chairperson asked for the challenges that were encountered.

Mr Mbuli replied that one of the biggest challenges was infrastructure development of the CNDCs. The conditions under which most of them operate were temporary structures and thus were not fit to pass some of the environmental and health standards, however some of these sites were being addressed by the provincial government which had granted funds (about R600 000) to help with the upgrading of the infrastructure. Another challenge was the lack of budget for a developmental programme, despite this the people being served were resilient and a report of the skills workshops that would interest them had been compiled. In some of the CNDCs there were programmes for gardening, baking, and home-based care.

Ms Tsoleli asked for details where the CNDCs could be found so that she may do her own oversight.

Mr Mbuli said that there were centres in Bram Fischer, Thaba ‘Nchu, Botshabelo, Ladybrand, and more.

The Chairperson asked if the budgets received from National and Provincial Treasuries were combined and then allocated.

Mr Mbuli replied that was correct.

Ms Tsoleli said that the way that these community centres were spread out and placed was unfair towards the most vulnerable people. The centres should be situated in areas where poverty was at its highest. Areas that were further away from metropolitan or less accessible could not be left out because of the distance.

The Chairperson said that in-depth research and analysis of an area and the lives of the people who lived there should be done prior to allocating a CNDC to ensure that help was given to those who needed it most. There should be criteria that illustrate the conditions of an area for a centre to be placed there.  DSD spoke of having to use approved strategies but what was not said was that even that approved strategy had not been implemented because it was not gazetted.

Ms T Khanyile (DA) asked if the gardening programme was a cooperative and if ADRA SA was purchasing produce from these gardeners. She asked what DSD and the implementing agents were doing to capacitate the beneficiaries of the food programme with regards to skills development.

Mr Mbuli replied that there was no provision in the budget for skills development but ADRA managed to give some opportunities for skills development. Some of the skills were sewing, beadwork, plumbing, health screening, welding, and carpet and art weaving using recycled plastics. Gardening was a standard item at all of ADRA’s CNDCs. When vegetables were procured, they always ensured that produce was bought from these small scale farmers; the difference in what was needed would be augmented as a way to empower the beneficiaries. The procurement of vegetables had in fact been decentralised.

The Chairperson said that was a good lesson on community empowerment. These principles must be noted as this programme was an initiative to attack poverty from all sides. She asked what was needed from DSD.

Mr Mbuli replied that a small budget for developmental facilitation would go a long way in changing the landscape of the people who were struggling with poverty as well as more ongoing provincial support.

The Chairperson said it was important to hear these words from the people who were doing the work at ground level.

Ms B Abrahams (ANC) asked what was meant by temporary structures and why those were being used if they were unfit.

The Chairperson asked if DSD as a whole was making the decision to continue spoon-feeding people or if this programme was a temporary measure until people were self-sustained.

Mr Mbuli replied that the programme would have effectively delivered on its mandate and implementing agents like ADRA, retrenched when there was no need to support people in this way and hunger has been zero-rated. This was when the implementing agents and DSD could say they had been successful.

The Chairperson reminded him that the mandate was to ensure that people were empowered and that they could provide for themselves. This measure has been successful in that it has ensured that these people at least have some food to eat. At the end of the day, there cannot be families that rely on the programme and have to eat in a temporary structure.

Ms Masango said this programme was geared towards an exit of some sort. DSD itself needs to have a strategy in this programme for an exit outcome. People cannot remain dependent on this programme, especially if most of them are able-bodied.

The Chairperson said that other departments have argued that this programme promotes dependency. An exit strategy must accompany the initial strategy for the programme.

Gauteng provincial implementing agent
Mr Pule Molapu, PFDC Manager for Kagisano, said his organisation was based in Midrand as it was the most central spot in the five regions of the province. Kagisano was established in 2013 and was involved with monitoring and evaluation. Originally, the province had food depots in each of the five regions that was funded by the Provincial Treasury and was run by other NPOs. Kagisano applied to the programme in 2015, based on what was already in place and being run. Currently there were 12 CNDCs, four of which were funded by National Treasury. These CNDCs were spread amongst the five regions in Mamelodi, Tshwane CBD and Atteridgeville.

Mr Molapu said that the PFDC had two administrators/co-ordinators. Until recently, there were no hired drivers as drivers from the food depots had been used for the programme up until the suspension of the food depots. The suspension affected the service delivery of the programme. Drivers had to be employed and alternative food storage places acquired. The funds from the Province helped to prolong the feeding at centres when the crisis of suspension occurred.

Mr Molapu said that when the programme started, the majority of the sites were already identified and had developmental centres established. This meant that there were already programmes in place that would train learners and help them towards an exit from dependency. However, some centres had to be established in places where there were no existing centres. The CNDCs were aimed to link to already established developmental centres however with issues of distance and training needed, some of these centres became ‘satellite’ centres and do not get the full support necessary. Collaboration with other departments, like Agriculture, would be hugely beneficial. At some of the CNDCs food gardens had been successful and the beneficiaries of the feeding programme were the ones who did the work in the food gardens. However, lack of equipment sometimes is a challenge. Support in the form of materials would be greatly appreciated as beneficiaries become discouraged when there was no change despite continual complaints about the lack of available resources.

The Chairperson asked for comment on the complaints that South Africans were not being equally treated in receiving assistance with this programme.

Mr Molapu replied that there had been a recent meeting which concluded that more CNDCs were required in Coloured communities as a response to the protest action that was held within those areas.

The Chairperson said that those centres must be built to be a space where people can partake in activities like craftwork and not only for the purpose of eating. The centres must have an exit strategy in mind for the future. The centres must keep demographic information and analyse those statistics so that one knows how many people are in the beneficiary household, who is the breadwinner, who is in school and suchlike so that the household can be holistically helped (such as to ensure that the learners receive NSFAs and the household can work its way out of poverty).

Mr Molapu replied that strong collaboration was needed to create an exit strategy. Development programmes need to be integrated properly to work towards the common goal.

KwaZulu Natal provincial implementing agent
Mr Samkelo Mlambo, CEO and founder of SA Food Security and Development Agency (SAFSDA), said that the Committee had conducted oversight at his organisation and had discussed many issues. Since then, there had been a serious improvement and transformation in the operations. In the province, there was a bit of a difference in approach to implementing this programme. This financial year, the PIA was fully implementing the eight CNDCs funded by the National DSD. The Province has decided to take another approach in implementing the programme — out of the 48 CNDCs funded by Provincial Treasury the programme was decentralised to four implementing agencies, each responsible for four clusters. SAFSDA was responsible for one of those clusters, which was uMgungundlovu district municipality. The numbers in the presentation represented the consolidated reports from the province. SAFSDA was established in 1999 and was registered a year later. The head office was in Estcourt. When it applied to the Call of Proposals, SAFSDA was already working a feeding programme in two districts.

The Chairperson asked about the progress in the organisation since the Committee’s oversight.

Mr Mlambo said that previously most of the procurement was done in bulk from national companies and some produce was procured from cooperatives. The Chairperson had told the organisation that it needed to look at the procurement strategy so that it could empower the local communities. MoUs with over 50 cooperatives in the province were signed from which there was direct procurement. For the developmental aspect of the programme, SAFSDA had implemented programmes that dealt with social relief of distress, skills development, job creation, and HIV/AIDS. The skills development programmes included the recruitment of 40 children who were taken to the University of South Africa for a household food and nutrition security programme; funding was sourced to provide them with implements to establish their own gardens. All of the children have completed and passed the programme. SAFSDA has assisted them to form their own cooperatives from which produce was being brought too. Most of those kids were beneficiaries at the CNDCs and had now graduated to be self-sustainable. Being an organisation meant that it was able to mobilise resources to assist DSD in developmental programmes. SAFSDA has managed to acquire accreditation with AgriSETA with an open plan in terms of sourcing MoUs with other SETAs whereby a SAFSDA academy has been developed with the intention that every CNDC participant would be incorporated into a comprehensive training programme with an exit strategy. A partnership has been created and forged with Public Works in terms of job creation. Across the province, 686 jobs were created due to the household food and nutrition programme with an input of R7 million from Public Works.

The Chairperson asked about the SAFSDA footprint around very poor areas.

Mr Mlambo replied that his organisation was responsible only for areas within the uMgungundlovu cluster.

The Chairperson asked if the Agriculture Technical and Vocational Education Training colleges had a role in this programme.

Mr Mlambo explained that those colleges did not have a role with the PIAs but worked directly with the DSD.

The Chairperson said that a relationship between the programme and those colleges must be facilitated.

Mr Mlambo replied that there needed to be mobilisation within communities and awareness and thorough knowledge of this programme must be promoted.

Limpopo provincial implementing agent
Ms Mmanana Matlalo, Project Manager for Makotse Women’s Club (MWC), said that the MWC was established in 1995 by a group of women. It has many projects like home-based care, a drop-in centre, sewing, baking and more. In 2014 MWC applied for the household food and nutrition programme. It was based in Seshego. The Province funded the organisation with R3.69 million for the financial year. The PFDC personnel included a board of directors, a ex-officio director, two CNDC co-ordinators, an administrator, two drivers, general workers and security officers. There were 19 CNDCs, eight of which were supported by the National DSD. The CDNCs were across the province in the five districts. MWC makes use of community centres such as halls and churches.

Ms Matlalo said that the co-ordinators were responsible for the monitoring of the CNDCs and performed unannounced visits for oversight. In Q1, three cooperatives were supported and 11 SMMEs and in Q2 there were eight SMMEs and seven cooperatives supported.

The Chairperson asked what was meant by “support of the cooperatives and SMMEs”. She asked if the seven cooperatives supported in Q2 included continuation of support of the three cooperatives from Q1.

Ms Matlalo replied that was right and that support meant the procuring of vegetables and fruit from them. A service level agreement had been signed with 16 cooperatives and SMMEs. The database had 40 listed; those would still need to have the MoU signed.

The Chairperson asked how many women were involved at that level.

Ms Matlalo replied that about 80% of the supported SMMEs and cooperatives were made up of women.

The Chairperson asked about the challenges they experienced.

Ms Matlalo replied that there were also developmental activities in place. The Provincial Department allocated R110 000 (each CNDC received R10 000) to establish developmental activities for beneficiaries to be able to exit the programme. There were vegetable gardens, the making of dishwashing liquid and sewing projects. All the CNDCs must have these ongoing programmes, regardless of whether funding was available for it or not.

Ms Tsoleli said that it was a pity that the Provincial Departments were not present at the meeting. Limpopo was a deep rural province of over 5 million people but there were only eight CDNCs supported by the Province. This was not acceptable.

Ms Abrahams commented that ‘if you want a job done, you must give it to a busy woman’.

The Chairperson said that the following day would be the starting date for the department strategy planning. The recommendations that the Committee would bring must form part of that strategy.

Ms Matlalo replied that the main challenge was an exit strategy was really needed for the beneficiaries. MWC had a good relationship with the Department of Agriculture who had identified four centres to receive 50 vegetable channels to allocate to 50 different households.

The Chairperson said an idea to be considered by DSD was to establish a project that processes the fruit that was in abundance in Limpopo like mangoes and make fruit juice. That could be a source of income for people there if the equipment and knowledge could be provided to them.

Mpumalanga provincial implementing agent
Ms Khumatsile Moele, PFDC Manager for Kago Yabana Foundation (KYF), said that KYF was registered in 2013 and was appointed for the household food and nutrition programme in 2016. KYF serves in the three district municipalities of the province with a total of nine CNDCs, eight of which were funded by National. KYF works with the National Department of Agriculture which provided KYF with a database of cooperatives in the province. The organisation supported 16 cooperatives in Q1 and 2. The support meant that procurement happened directly from those cooperatives to the CNDCs or PFDC, or that the cooperative worked together with the Mpumalanga government Nutrition Programme. This programme aimed to align feeding programmes with the integration of various departments like the DSD, Department of Education and Department of Health. The purpose of it was to empower farmers in the province. The target group for the beneficiaries of the food and nutrition programme was people between the ages of 19 and 64 years. However there were feeding programmes that included children in primary schools. KYF was in need of funding for developmental programmes though it did make its own provision to assist beneficiaries either through social or economic interventions. Social interventions included the meals, stimulation through activities like sports and educational campaigns.

Ms Moele said that the organisation currently feeds about 2 600 beneficiaries through the nine CNDCs. Some of the CNDCs exceed the target of 250 people and reached around 350. What informs these beneficiaries was referral by the DSD but also there were large numbers of community members that walk into the CNDCs without that referral.

The Chairperson said that the selection of who could receive food at CNDCs may be problematic for government.

Ms Tsoleli said that it was alarming that only one CNDC was supported by the Province.

The Chairperson said that it seemed like food security was not a priority for the Mpumalanga government.

Ms Moele replied that the programme currently did not allow beneficiaries to take away food. Some beneficiaries that come to the centres prefer to take their meal home to share with their families. She requested that the Committee look at changing this policy so that food can be taken to those who cannot come to the centres. Most of the beneficiaries had health issues and so she requested that the Committee consider interventions together with the Department of Health so that provision was made at the centres for the health assessment of beneficiaries. Mpumalanga was very rich in land which could produce a lot of food. The cooperatives have access to land but they cannot produce if there was no market.

The Chairperson said that it was not a policy issue, but the beneficiaries need to be able to choose when and where they would eat their food. The people should not be forced to eat in the centres with supervision. People want to take their food home to share with their families and that reflects on the extent of poverty.

Ms Tsoleli said that the Committee should read and review that policy.

The Chairperson said that only Mpumalanga had brought this up which meant that the government there needed to review this policy and legislation and bring that to the Committee.

Ms Masango said that the programme itself was being reviewed so all the concerns raised should be considered as these presentations spoke to the challenges being faced on the ground. There was a lot of material to be used in the departmental strategic planning that was due to take place.

Northern Cape provincial implementing agent
Ms Liza Magerman, PFDC Manager for Thabang Community Development Centre, said that the head office was 160 kilometres north of Kimberley.  There were 22 CNDCs across the province; the furthest one was the Steinkopf centre which was a 12 hour drive from Hartswater where the organisation was based. The Northern Cape was a very vast province and there was a lot of travelling involved. The profiling for the beneficiaries was done by the Provincial Department. Some beneficiaries were children under the age of five years and bedridden people and so ‘take-aways’ were allowed at the CNDCs. The local home-based care organisations refer bedridden people to the programme and the organisation would perform house visits to verify and register the beneficiaries. The infrastructure of the CNDCs was not conducive for the programmes. Thabang CDC helped ten of the CDNCs achieve the compliance certificate and tax clearance certificate in order to be able to apply for external funding. There were a lot of developmental programmes in place. Between 10 and 12 youth were assisted to get their learners / driving licences in this financial year so far.

Ms Magerman said that a challenge was the poor support from the Province as well as an exit strategy for beneficiaries. The current weather and climate conditions in the province meant that many of the cooperatives were not productive or were underproductive though there were many cooperatives. Poverty was a huge problem in the province but alcohol and drug abuse was much worse. There were more babies born with foetal alcohol syndrome in the Northern Cape than in any other province.

The Chairperson asked what the Department could do better.

Ms Magerman said that strong partnerships with departments and institutions that will help build and strengthen the communities. It felt as though there were no effort being put into improving the lives of the youth, senior citizens and others, and unemployment remained high.

The Chairperson said to Mr Netshipale that institutions and departments must be urged to go further and work with the beneficiaries for items such as child support grants. There was a need for similar organisations to integrate and work together instead of working independently of one another.

North West provincial implementing agent
Ms Tumahole Khetse, PFDC Manager for Motswedi Wa Sechaba (MWS) NPO, said that MWS was based in the Phokeng area in Rustenburg. There were eight employees and six directors on the board. MWS operated in the four district municipalities of the province. It responded to the Call for Proposals when the province was rated as having a high level of poverty amongst the population of 3.7 million people. There was an incident in Tswaing local municipality in which three children passed away due to poverty hence Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality had ten CNDCs. There were four CNDCs in Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District, six CNDCs in Bojanala Platinum District, and seven CNDCs in Dr Kenneth Kaunda District.

The Chairperson asked if the CNDC in Rustenburg was in Marikana.

Ms Khetse said that the CNDC was in Khlapa village, not in Marikana. The board approached the mines to look at establishing CNDCs in the doorstep areas and labour sending areas due to the high rate of retrenchment. Two CNDCs would be built and there were currently negotiations about the plan of action for squatter camp areas as many of the retrenched workers were not returning home.

The Chairperson asked DSD to inform them on what was happening about this as there were resources available for a special programme. The Chairperson asked why Marikana was not targeted for a CNDC after the tragedy.

Mr Netshipale replied that the programme for Marikana after that incident included outreach programmes. After those were completed, the responsibility was handed over to the Province as the money for that was within the Province’s control.

The Chairperson said that Mr Netshipale had hardly answered the question. She asked why there was no soup kitchen or something similar in Marikana.

Mr Netshipale replied that he thought there were drop-in centres in the area.

Ms Tsoleli said that he must not mislead the Committee. If Mr Netshipale was unsure then he must say that he will give a true answer after the meeting.

The Chairperson said that the service providers were there in the meeting. Marikana was a hotspot and this was known. Many things that were promised and committed to the community had not been carried out. She asked the PIA how Marikana could be left out as it was hard to ignore it when in Rustenburg.

Ms Mogotsi said that the province was dry by nature and asked what services were provided in Madikwe.

Ms Khetse replied that there was a CNDC in Uitkyk and Kameelboom.

Ms Mogotsi asked where the CNDC was in Uitkyk.

Ms Khetse replied she was unsure of the exact address. There was also a CNDC in Koster.

Ms Mogotsi asked how many people in Uitkyk were being serviced as most people from the community have migrated to Johannesburg.  Those that remained there were vulnerable as many were not working. Though the population was decreasing, the people lived in poverty. There was only one crèche, a recreational hall and a church and only one main street in Uitkyk. She asked where the CNDC was so that she could perform her own oversight. She also asked for the Taung footprint.

Ms Khetse replied that there was an organisation in Taung and in Vryburg.

Ms Mogotsi said the questions she had were more directed at DSD about the prevalence of hunger. The programmes were good but was DSD doing enough to help those vulnerable, poor areas such as those which had emerging squatter camps?

The Chairperson said that people were not merely statistics. There were more hungry people than what was shown in the statistics. Food insecurity had escalated. She asked Mr Netshipale what the terms of reference were that were given to these particular agencies. There needed to be stronger partnerships between DSD and the implementing agents.

Western Cape provincial implementing agent
Mr Sikhulu Monakali, Manager at Ilitha Labantu, said the organisation was established in 1989. In 2006 it started its own comprehensive food security programme in alignment with the goals to reduce poverty. There were 20 CNDCs; 14 of which were based in the City of Cape Town, one CNDC was in Atlantis, one in Kayamandi in Stellenbosch, one in De Doorns, and three in George. All of the CNDCs were inherited from National and the organisation had to follow the same protocol. A key issue was the expansion of the programme to more areas and instigating how to ensure that the programme reaches those who are truly in need. Ilitha Labantu did not get support from the provincial government in any form. The work was based on ensuring that a holistic service was provided to the CNDCs through an integrated programme developed by its own strategies in not only identifying beneficiaries but also identifying issues pertaining to the household. It aims to ensure that wherever developmental programmes are in place, that people are making use of its availability. One problem was that very few people would attend classes such as beading and sewing or the counselling programmes. It has been noted, especially amongst the youth, that there is a this feeling of lethargy/not doing anything — there is the sense that what is happening is out of the control of the people. This mind set could only be interrupted through social interventions such as counselling and programmes developed around the interests of the youth.

Mr Monakali said that crime was a challenge. The high prevalence of drug and gang culture in the province has resulted in the PFDC experiencing situations in which the crime and rivalries had led to innocent people being hurt and on occasions CNDCs had to close because of violence in the neighbourhoods. The province has the highest rate of drug-related crimes; five out of the top ten murder areas and incidents of drug-related crime were within the areas the CNDCs served.  Some of the possible solutions involved youth intervention strategies, ensuring that there was adequate support in the communities to support those youth interventions. The police play a vital role in ensuring crime prevention and must actively participate in communities that the organisation serviced.  Community intervention and protection was needed which would allow the communities to take responsibility for the programmes themselves and the locations of the CNDCs. The fear of violence was a daily struggle for these vulnerable people in need.

Another challenge was infrastructure. Further engagement was needed with local municipalities to discuss the expansion of the areas in which the organisation operated. It has used the infrastructure of churches but there was an occasion where a church kicked out the CNDC as they felt the beneficiaries coming there were making the church “look bad”. An exit strategy was also crucial for the fulfilment of the programme. With the increasing cost of living, there has been an upward trend of people coming into the programme – instead of a downward trend. Implementing appropriate development programmes has been difficult as there was no budget for them though some had managed to implement items such as food gardens. There were many areas in which people lived in poverty and had no access to the food programme. There was much more work to be done until it could be said that people’s lives were improving.

The Chairperson said that the challenge of seasonal migrant workers had not been addressed yet.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would give recommendations based on the information presented in the meeting. It was good to have the input from the PIAs who could give personal accounts of what was happening. An integration of departments would start with a meeting to consider how to solve food insecurity and reduce poverty across the country.

The meeting was adjourned.

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