The Gauteng Provincial government is the first province to set measures to mitigate against hunger especially for the vulnerable and the poor.
In a widely open chest press briefing supported by his cabinet, Premier David Makhura announced wide-ranging measures to curb the impact of coronavirus.
Of those were social development and education, working together to provide food to the homeless and school children depended on the National School Nutrition programme.
The programme currently feeds just over 1.5 million learners per day.
“The National School Nutrition programme will be extended to the beneficiaries for the period of the lockdown, whilst the learners are still on recess. Beneficiaries will be given a once-off food parcel, catering for a full month,” added MEC for social development and education Panyaza Lesufi.
Food and Agriculture (FAO) Chief Economist Maximo Torero Cullen said schools closing down around the world would impact 300 million children who would miss “out on school meals, for which many of them were already critical sources of nutritious diets.”
According to the department, the food relieve was estimated to cost R135 million over a period of 30 days.
“The funds are available in the conditional grant and voted funds. With the available budget, the government can afford R100 per learner per food parcel” reiterated MEC Lesufi.
Panic buying continued unabated despite the appeal made by the government and the retail food industry. According to Torero Cullen such unaccustomed behaviour had a negative impact on food supply chains as it slowed down the shipping industry.
The department of corporative governance has gazetted the lockdown under section 3 of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002).