Old-age homes and child-headed households benefited.
A TOTAL of 850 food parcels were distributed in different parts of Kimberley by the De Beers Group and the Department of Social Development yesterday.
The senior operations manager of De Beers, Simangele Soni, said the company had worked in partnership with the department to relieve the plight of community members during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“We wanted to reach out to old-age homes and child-headed households. The Department of Social Development came on board to assist by identifying the beneficiaries. We know that there are many organisations and companies who had been donating various supplies to communities during the lockdown, so we did not want to duplicate the beneficiaries. The need amongst communities is great and we need to reach out to those who are most vulnerable. The department was able to identify those destitute beneficiaries,” said Soni.
She said they focused especially on community members who were unable to make a living during the lockdown.
“There are so many people who are dependent on casual and informal employment, but due to the lockdown restrictions are not able to search for work. Those people also do not receive a social grant. We have to ensure that we give a helping hand to those people who might be forced to go to bed hungry during the lockdown.”
Soni said that a food parcel could maintain a single household for an entire month.
She added that the distribution forms part of the group’s community response plan, which has also been rolled out in other parts of the Northern Cape.
“We have provided JoJo tanks to municipalities in the Namaqua district, which will be utilised to provide water to communities who do not have access to water. We will also be providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to those who are on the front line. We will be extending this programme for the next three months. Through this plan, the group is providing food parcels to the vulnerable members of society, water supply, community communication and essential PPE to front-line health workers. The aim of the programme is to give an extending hand to flatten the Covid-19 curve and curb the spread of the virus,” she said.
The MEC for Social Development, Martha Bartlett, thanked the mining company for its assistance.
“The fight against poverty during this pandemic can be won if the government and private sector join hands. We have made a call on all corporates to lend a helping hand to the government in the fight against Covid-19. We need to partner with the corporate world and other organisations in order to assist the vulnerable amongst us. We are grateful to the group who joined with the department to fight this scourge,” said Bartlett.