Despite many allegations of the “politicisation” and looting of food hampers in KwaZulu-Natal, the Department of Social Development remains adamant that only councillors can provide an authentic report of needy people in the province.

However, Durban community activist Mary de Haas and head of Gift of the Givers Imtiaz Sooliman warned that using councillors to distribute food hampers “was the worse thing” and “not working in most areas”.

Chairperson of Ubunye Bamahostela, Vusi Zweni, said they represented more than 350 000 hostel dwellers, who were “starving”.

He claimed food parcels from councillors only reached friends and those affiliated with their political party.

During a portfolio committee meeting yesterday, KZN Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza conceded they had received several complaints about the looting of food hampers meant for the poor and that councillors were politicising or benefiting financially from its distribution.

However, she said there had been no formal incident report opened.

She said councillors needed to be held accountable by the speakers from the various municipalities, who enforced the code of conduct.

“We cannot move away from the fact that councillors have been elected by communities. It is therefore the councillors responsibility to provide us with an authentic report of who needs food parcels in their community,” she said.

To date the department had spent an estimated R7 million on the distribution of food parcels in KZN.

Source: IOL

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