Home News Distribution of food parcels under spotlight again

Distribution of food parcels under spotlight again

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On top of enduring appalling conditions in their dilapidated four-room house, the family also has to “scratch around” for a meal on a daily basis.

DISCREPANCIES regarding the distribution of Covid-19 relief food parcels have come under the spotlight again after a Galeshewe family in Ward 4 has been left without food.

Community members, who believe that the family deserves to be on the food parcel beneficiary list, are continuing with their attempts to provide food to the family.

On top of enduring appalling conditions in their dilapidated four-room house, the family also has to “scratch around” for a meal on a daily basis.

The owner of the house, Lettie Dipheko, 55, who is epileptic and on high blood medication, has no form of income. She lives with her two unemployed children and her 19-year-old granddaughter.

Her eldest daughter, who is the mother of the 19-year-old, is her primary caregiver.

Dipheko was on a temporary disability grant for six months in 2019. The process of reapplying for the grant was delayed by the lockdown as there are no Sassa doctors available to examine her.

The family’s living conditions have become a focus point in the community as people continue to take pictures of the house, with promises to rally around to help fix the house.

The walls of the house are so badly cracked that light shines through, while the roof poles hang loosely.

According to Dipheko, the previous owner died around 2008/9 and left the house with cracks, which have grown wider over the years.

Her daughter, Kelebogile Mosegeleng, said on Friday that the family was only surviving as a result of the assistance of members of the nearby Commemoration Methodist Church.

Members of the community have also been helping them where they can in terms of food donations.

“It is really tough for us, more especially through the lockdown period as everyone is trying to save whatever food they have. There are also no odd jobs at this time for either me or my brother,” said Mosegeleng.

She said that she had gone to her ward councillor’s house to put their name on the list for food parcels but never heard anything regarding the distribution.

“The sad part is that almost everyone in our neighbourhood knows our situation but it has become a challenge to get us registered for government  food parcels. The only assistance we have received are the vegetables that the church donated to us.

“After approaching our Ward 4 councillor, there was a glimmer of hope when we saw food parcels being delivered at a few houses close to us. But our hopes were shattered when the  delivery car just passed our house without stopping.”

Mosegeleng went on to explain that they had also hoped to get assistance from Sassa after learning that grant recipients whose grants lapsed over the lockdown period would receive food parcels.

“We don’t even know where to go, however, as we can’t even afford to buy airtime to call the call centre.”

Mosegeleng added that their movement is also curtailed as they are worried about leaving the house because the doors can’t close and they are also concerned that their mother might have an epileptic attack and there will be no one at home to help her.

Efforts to get comment from the ward councillor were unsuccessful as she did not answer her phone.

With regard to obtaining assistance in fixing the house, the spokesperson for the Sol Plaatje Municipality Sello Matsie, said the municipality had no legal responsibility for private property.

“Other sectors might be helpful in alleviating the conditions of the family,” said Matsie.