The Western Cape High Court has postponed the Democratic Alliance (DA) challenge to Minister Lindiwe Zulu’s attempt to regulate the distribution of food.
In the meantime, though, it has ordered that government is not allowed to prevent people from distributing and receiving food.
The court has ordered Minister Zulu to bring this to the attention of social development officials in her department and MECs in all of the provinces.
The Commissioner of police has also been ordered to bring this order to the attention of all police officials.
This means that for the next four weeks food distribution by NGOs can continue as normal before the matter finally comes to court.
The DA brought the case after draft regulations started being enforced 3 weeks ago. These regulations shut down soup kitchens and placed stiff regulations on the distribution of food parcels.
“This stopped food reaching thousands of hungry people as food relief NGO’s were threatened with arrest if they did not stop.
We believe thousands of people have suffered hunger and malnutrition because of this,” James Lorimer, a Democratic Alliance MP.
“Minister Zulu defended the regulations, saying relief needed to be coordinated.
This is clearly delusional as her department cannot even properly perform its current function, let alone instantly build a proper distribution network to millions of people,” added Lorimer.