Coronavirus: Food Security Drives Now Not Later

NEWS: The Kathrada Foundation along with various religious leaders, civil society activists, sport personalities, academics and former political representatives, are appealing to all South Africans to launch a national food security campaign. The call for this campaign comes in at a time where the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to over over 1585 South Africans infected and several deaths. 

The national food security campaign drive is aimed at mobilising grassroot level players in response to the Covid-19 crisis as the growing signs of hunger among citizens throughout the country is climbing. The efforts of this actions will strengthen the collaborative partnership with government at all levels to meet the daily food needs of people in communities during the lockdown period. 

The directives to South Africans,

  • establish local food committees composed of community leaders, activists and volunteers, which should galvanise ordinary citizens to donate food, and to ensure its distribution to persons and communities in need;
  • support the work of credible NGOs and charitable organisations by giving donations in kind or cash to alleviate the plight of the poor and hungry; and
  • to support the efforts of government, particularly at provincial and local levels, to provide food in communities, where needed.

Here are the full list of South African leaders and personalities that have endorsed this food security drive,

  1. Kgalema Motlanthe (former President)
  2. Archbishop Thabo Makgoba (Archbishop of Cape Town)
  3. (Maulana) Ebrahim Bham (United Council of Muslim Theologians of SA)
  4. Zev Krengel (South African Jewish Board of Deputies)
  5. Ashwin Trikamjee (South African Hindu Maha Sabha)
  6. Dr Gustav Claassen (General Secretary: Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk) 
  7. Mrs Premi Govender (Gauteng Tamil Federation) 
  8. Sello Hatang (Nelson Mandela Foundation)
  9. Siya Kolisi (Captain – SA Rugby Team)
  10. Sheila Sisulu
  11. Roelf Meyer (former Minister)
  12. Sophie Williams de Bruyn (former MP)
  13. Derek Hanekom (former Minister)
  14. Dr Mohammed Moosajee 
  15. Richard Mabaso (Imbumba Foundation)
  16. Neeshan Balton (Ahmed Kathrada Foundation)
  17. Mavuso Msimang 
  18. Mark Heywood (social justice activist)
  19. Enver Surty (former Minister)
  20. Wendy Kahn (SAJBD)
  21. Professor Saurabh Sinha (Deputy Vice-Chancellor – University of Johannesburg) 
  22. Barbara Hogan (former Minister)
  23. Professor Nick Binedell (Gordon Institute of Business Science)
  24. Shauket Fakie (former Auditor-General of South Africa)
  25. David Lewis (Corruption Watch)
  26. Ela Gandhi (former MP)
  27. Tanya Cohen (Pubic Private Growth Initiative)
  28. Dana Lazarus (SAJBD)
  29. Dr Fazel Randera 
  30. Catherine Constantinides (Director: Miss Earth South Africa)
  31. Jay Pema (Congress of Business and Economics) 
  32. Professor Achille Mbembe (Wits academic)
  33. Dr Ismail Vadi (former MEC) 

The statement by the Kathrada Foundation states,

“There are clear signs that many of our people are in distress and facing hunger due to the outbreak of the virus and the national lockdown declared by the President.

We urge our people to open their hearts to the plight of the poor and hungry and to give selflessly to those in need in this hour of human solidarity and compassion. 

We appeal to major food producers, manufacturers and distributors such as food chain stores and cash&carry outlets and supermarkets to donate food hampers and to sell food vouchers to the public, local food committees and reputable humanitarian bodies that already are doing sterling relief work in communities. 

We believe that Local Food Committees are best placed co-ordinate multiple responses to food insecurity in neighbourhoods; get food to those in need due to limited mobility, unemployment and poverty; and to provide support to government efforts to fight the pandemic.

Food producers and manufacturers, retailers’ distribution centres and supermarkets must continue to supply food to the public and to informal, small and medium traders operating in suburbs, townships and informal settlements. In this hour of desperate need, let us do all we can to help our people!

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