All organisations and individuals that have started food relief programmes in Kouga have been asked to register with the local Joint Operations Committee (JOC).
“There are a number of groups that have been distributing food parcels to families in need during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“There is a desperate need for this in our communities and we applaud the fine work that is being done,” Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said.
“However, most of the groups and individuals involved, are not registered as essential services, as required by law.
“This means that, strictly speaking, they are in contravention of the lockdown regulations when they leave their homes to distribute food parcels.”
He said in order to legalise food relief initiatives a resolution was taken that all such projects should register with the JOC for authorisation.
“The JOC is officially in charge of coordinating local Covid-19 efforts and consists of various state roleplayers, including, the municipality, police, Department of Health and Social Development,” Hendricks explained.
In terms of the resolution food relief programmes are required to register with the JOC by sending an email to [email protected]
The email should include the following information:
• The name of the food drive or organisation in charge of it
• The names, surnames, addresses, ID numbers and vehicle registration numbers of all those required to leave their homes for the purpose of arranging or distributing food parcels
• The distribution programme – preferably for the next three weeks, but weekly programmes will also be accepted if submitted on the Thursday preceding the planned week of distribution.
• The distribution programme should include the number of beneficiaries who will be reached, the area of distribution and method of distribution (eg, door-to-door).
• Ideally, the names and addresses of beneficiaries should also be included to help avoid the same households receiving more than one food parcel while others receive none.
The deadline for groups wanting to distribute food parcels next week (27 April to 3 May) is 12 noon today (Thursday), 23 April.
The submissions will then be consolidated and tabled at the local Command Centre meeting on Friday, as resolved by the JOC.
Hendricks said in addition to ensuring all such projects were operating legally during lockdown, the registration process would allow law enforcement authorities to support groups when distributing food in potentially volatile areas.
“Many people are desperate for assistance, which increases the safety risk to groups involved in distributing food.
“We want to ensure such groups are protected, both in terms of the law and their physical well-being, as the support they are offering to those in need is of great value and importance to our region.
“We are deeply grateful for all they are doing and want to encourage them to continue their incredible efforts to help all Kouga families make it safely through the lockdown.”
To register or for further queries email [email protected]
Photo: St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group