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Néé vir sentralisering van voedselhulp aan noodlydendes! | Agri SA says no to centralisation of food relief for the needy!

English to follow:

7 Mei 2020

 Agri SA sê néé vir die sentralisering van voedselhulp deur enige staatsentiteit of politikus en toekenning van humanitêre en finansiële hulp op grond van ras. Die inperkings wat ingevolge die Wet op Rampbestuur deur die regering ingestel is, het werkloosheid en hongersnood die hoogte laat in skiet. Dit hou ‘n wesenlike gevaar vir sosiale stabiliteit en die veiligheid van alle landsburgers in.

Agri SA en sy 90 plus affiliasies skenk daarom daagliks tonne voedsel aan noodlydendes dwarsoor Suid-Afrika. Groot sorg word toegepas in die versameling en verspreiding van groente, vrugte en ander nie-bederfbare voedsel en die COVID-19 voorsorgmaatreëls word nougeset toegepas tydens elke noodhulpaksie.

In die verband het individuele boere, landbouverenigings, provinsiale affiliasies, bedrywe, landboubesighede, kerke en nie-regeringsorganisasies spontaan gereageer op Agri SA se voedselhulpveldtog aan derduisende noodlydendes.  Hierdie aksies kan daarom nie aan bande gelê word deur burokratiese rompslomp en drakoniese maatreëls van die staat nie! Inteendeel, Artikel 27 van die Grondwet bepaal dat elke persoon die reg het op voldoende voedsel en water.

Die Wet op Voedsel, Grimering en Ontsmettingsmiddels van 1972 wat die vervaardiging, verkoop en invoer van voedsel reguleer is nie van toepassing op die regulering van skenkings van voedsel nie.  Dit geld ook vir die Wet op Landbouprodukstandaarde van 1990. Dit handel met die verkoop van landbouprodukte en is ook nie van toepassing op produkte wat geskenk word sonder dat enige vergoeding daarvoor ontvang word nie.

Daar is dus geen nasionale verbod op die verlening van voedselhulp deur weldoeners nie en geen sodanige verbod is vervat in die Wet op Rampbestuur of die Covid-19 regulasies nie. Dit is wel moontlik dat sekere plaaslike owerhede, ter wille van goeie orde en die toepassing van gesondheidstandaarde mag vereis dat persone of instansies moet aansoek doen vir permitte om voedsel te versprei.  Dit maak sin om die plaaslike owerheid te ken en ingelig te hou van sodanige optrede.

Advies aan boere en organisasies wat voedsel wil versprei, is die volgende:

  • Verseker dat die voedsel veilig is vir menslike gebruik en dat basiese higiëniese standaarde gevolg word met die hantering en vervoer van die voedsel.
  • Probeer vasstel of die plaaslike owerheid binne wie se jurisdiksie die gebied val waar die voedsel versprei gaan word, wel ‘n permitstelsel het.
  • Gebruik verkieslik bekende welsynsorganisasies, kerke of nie-regeringsorganisasies met ‘n goeie baanrekord en ‘n bestaande permit om die verspreiding te doen.
  • Moet verkieslik nie self betrokke raak by die uitdeel van kospakkies nie, maar lewer dit eerder aan kerke, welsynsorganisasies of nie-regeringsorganisasies met ‘n goeie reputasie;
  • Sorg dat almal betrokke maskers dra, higiëne protokolle volg en die vereiste sosiale afstand van mekaar handhaaf.

Moet egter nie toelaat dat raadslede, politici en munisipale amptenare skenkings kaap en burokratiseer vir politieke doeleindes nie. Daar is geen regulasie of wet wat die sentralisering van voedselhulp deur middel van staatspakhuise vereis nie. Dit is ook onaanvaarbaar en immoreel om voedselhulp of enige ander hulp op grond van ras toe te ken.

 Navrae:

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA Adjunk-Uitvoerende Direkteur

 Andrea Campher

Ramprisikobestuurder

 *************************************

Agri SA objects to the centralisation and hijacking of food relief by any government entity and the allocation of humanitarian and financial aid based on race. The lockdown imposed by the government in terms of the Disaster Management Act has caused unemployment and hunger to skyrocket. This could have a devastating effect on social stability and the safety of all citizens.

For this reason, Agri SA and its 90 plus affiliates donate tons of food daily to the needy throughout South Africa. Great care is taken with the collection and distribution of vegetables, fruit and other non-perishable food, while the Covid-19 precautionary measures are strictly adhered to during every relief effort.

Individual farmers, agricultural associations, provincial affiliates, commodities, churches and non-governmental organisations have reacted spontaneously to Agri SA’s food relief campaign to assist thousands of people in need. For this reason, these efforts should not be hampered by the government through bureaucratic red tape and draconian measures. In fact, section 27 of the Constitution states that every person has the right to sufficient food and water.

The Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act of 1972, which regulates the manufacture, sale and importation of food, is not applicable to the regulation of food donations. This also applies to the Agricultural Product Standards Act of 1990. The latter deals with the sale of agricultural products and is also not applicable to products that are donated without any payment received for such products.

There is no national ban on charitable donations of food nor does the Disaster Management Act and Covid-19 regulations prohibit such donations. It is possible, however, that certain local authorities may, for the sake of order and adherence to health standards, require persons or organisations to apply for permits to distribute food. It makes sense to consult local authorities and keep them informed of such efforts.

Advice to farmers and organisations that wish to distribute food is as follows:

  • Ensure that the food is safe for human consumption and that basic hygiene standards are followed when handling and transporting food.
  • Try to determine whether the local authority within whose jurisdiction the area where food is to be distributed falls, does in fact implement a permit system;
  • Preferably use well-known welfare organisations, churches or non-governmental organisations with a proven track record and an existing permit to distribute donations;
  • Preferably do not become involved in the distribution of food parcels but instead deliver them to churches, welfare organisations and non-governmental organisations with a good reputation; and
  • Ensure that everyone involved wears masks, follows hygiene protocols and maintains the necessary social distancing.

It is important, however, not to allow councillors, politicians and municipal officials to hijack and bureaucratise food for political purposes. There is no regulation or law that requires the centralisation of food relief via state packing houses. It is also unacceptable and immoral to withhold food relief or any other assistance on the basis of race.

Enquiries:

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA Deputy Executive Director

Andrea Campher

Disaster Risk Manager