Community Clash Over Food Parcels

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Community development workers and community stakeholders in Muvhango Ward 6, Bophelong (a township near Vanderbijlpark, south of Gauteng) were supposed to give 1000 food parcels to the needy. But because of a misunderstanding between the community and corrupt community leaders nothing went well.

On 27 August 2020, the community leaders organised a meeting where 1000 food parcels were due to be given to communities. More than 1 000 people gathering in one place and people were not physically distanced. People were not divided and given schedules to collect, and the elderly had to wait until 13:00. There was a clash between staff and community members and some community members got hurt.

The food giveaway should have been done properly and according to the COVID-19 regulations as set by President Cyril Ramaphosa. But the communication between staff and community leaders was very poor. After the incident people were told that next time they are supposed fetch their food parcels from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in Sebokeng because of what happened. Community members complained that they did not have the money for transport, therefore food parcels need to be brought to the community with better planning.

“We will try and come up with the solution towards this matter,” one of the community leaders said, adding that they will report to the community after three days. SASSA asked community leaders to make a list of those who are in need of food. The issue of the list was a not a good idea because some households added family members, as if they were from different households. It is clear that people have issues with community leaders. Community members were greedy and also corrupt.

Out of 1 000 food parcels, 250 were lost and 750 food parcels went sent back to the warehouse.

This article was submitted on 1 September 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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