Since the beginning of 2020, food relief programs were needed for the poor South Africans that were on lockdown and that couldn’t work to provide food for their families. This is where the Sassa food relief program started. And today thousands of people are counting on the program.  However, because of the unrest, disrupts the food program.

Unrest caused disruption with the food relief program

The latest unrest and the disruption of the food relief program:

  • Unrests during July 2020 caused chaos in the whole of South Africa.
  • But it was worst in the two provinces Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal. The unrest was done by looting stores and malls.
  • Stealing everything they could find and destroying what was left.

The unrest disrupts the Sassa food relief program. There wasn’t food for the program anymore, and donations couldn’t be done anymore.

President Ramaphosa permit to resume the food relief program

Shortly after the unrest calmed down, and everything got normal again, President Ramaphosa was giving permission to resume the food relief program. Even with the increase in positive Covid cases because of the unrest and the lack of Covid regulations.

In most provinces, the food relief program resumed, but it wasn’t the case for one province. In the province where the unrest was the worst and the most damaging.

What is the FRP or food relief program

To understand why the FRP or food relief program is so important to many South Africans, you need to know what the FRP actually is.

  • The Sassa food relief program or also known as the FRP
  • It is giving food parcels and vouchers to vulnerable families and those that have lost their jobs during the pandemic.
  • These relief programs are all about donations from private and state organizations. Trying to make sure that as many people as possible are getting food to eat.

Kwazulu-Natal halted the service because of looting

Even with the FRP resumed and people getting food again after the unrest, there are still people that didn’t get their food parcels yet. This is because the service providers giving out food parcels were looted and infrastructure vandalized. Meaning that they had nothing to give and had a shortage of capital themselves.

We are talking about Kwazulu-Natal. In all the other provinces, the relief program resumes without any problems and delays. There was too much damage done, for institutions to donate food. And, people were afraid to exit their homes to collect the parcels.

Vouchers instead of food parcels considered

After the unrest, people started to get food vouchers instead of food parcels. This is mostly because of two reasons.

  • To ensure that people stay safe and to be able to control the crowd that collects the parcels
  • and to prevent the pandemic to spread because of crowds.

Some people are still receiving the food parcels, while others are getting the vouchers instead. Making it easier for them to avoid crowds and to still get some food for their families.

Criteria for receiving a food parcel

There is a criterion that you need to meet in order to receive the food parcel.

  • If you already receive any form of a Sassa grant, you don’t qualify for the social relief of distress.
  • You will not get an approved application.
  • This is only for people who have lost their work during the pandemic and that don’t get a grant yet.

The unrest during July 2020 didn’t just cause problems for businesses and malls. It also causes problems for those struggling to get their Sassa food relief program. It resumed after a couple of weeks, but in Kwazulu-Natal it took longer to get enough food to provide for those qualifying for the relief program.