Statement by ACDP MP, Marie Sukers

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

ACDP calls on Public Works to make private road through Buffelsrivier accessible for people to acquire food

Jul 7, 2023

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) condemns the actions of the Northern Cape Department of Social Development in subjecting vulnerable community members to extreme conditions whilst waiting for food parcels. The recent reports of individuals being exposed to the scorching winter sun for extended periods of time are deeply concerning.

Eight days after the devastation of floods in the Nama-Khoi region, some areas are still to receive any kind assistance in terms of food provision.

The severe floods that have impacted the Komaggas, Buffelsrivier, and Kleinsee communities have already caused immense suffering, and it is disheartening to see that the very department responsible for providing aid is further exacerbating the hardships faced by these individuals.

It is the duty of the government to respond swiftly and compassionately in times of crisis, prioritizing the restoration of dignity for all citizens. Regrettably, the current situation fails to meet these standards.

The damage to road infrastructure have caused communities to be cut off, preventing them from acquiring their own food, and other necessary supplies in Springbok. The provision of food by the Department of Social Development to some of these affected communities only started on Tuesday, with communities most affected not being prioritised.

What we are witnessing is inefficient disaster management that dismally fails in the execution of basic planning and coordination leaving communities to feel frustrated.

The ACDP calls on the Department of Social Development to urgently implement more efficient and humane measures to distribute food parcels. In addition, we would encourage the Department of Social Development to work closely with relevant stakeholders, such as local community organizations and volunteers, to streamline the distribution process and alleviate the burden on those seeking aid. Collaborative efforts will ensure a more compassionate and effective response to the ongoing crisis.

There are about 1500 households in Komaggas. Yesterday (Wednesday), the Department of Social Development only provided 400 food parcels to households, with roughly 1100 households not receiving anything.

With rainfall being projected again in the Nama-Khoi region for this coming Saturday, people could be worse off by this weekend if government derelicts in its duty.

The ACDP therefore calls on the Department of Public Works to urgently make the private road through Buffelsrivier accessible for all, to enable people to get to Springbok to acquire necessities.

The ACDP remains committed to advocating for the rights and well-being of all affected by the floods. We will continue to engage with the relevant authorities, demanding immediate action to rectify the situation, and provide the necessary support to the affected communities.

-ENDS-

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