The government is looking at providing relief to waste pickers, who have been left without a livelihood since the national lockdown began.
Minister of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, said waste pickers are experiencing “extreme hardship”, and a proposal has been made to use some of the recently set-up National Solidarity Fund to aid them.
Waste pickers are not allowed to work as they are not classified as essential workers.
“In the meantime, to alleviate hunger we have approached the Consumer Goods Council and its members who are in the process of discussing an intervention that will see the provision of food parcels with immediate effect to waste pickers,” Creecy said in a briefing on Friday evening.
Regarding animal care and wildlife management during the lockdown, Creecy’s department is checking that zoos and sanctuaries are feeding animals.
She said there has been an incident at the Bloemfontein Zoo where animals were found starving to death, and needed to be evacuated and taken to another sanctuary.
“Ranger services and anti-poaching activities continue in all our national parks and we can report last week that we had a successful anti-poaching operation on the 26th of March that resulted in arrests on the Eastern boundary of the Kruger National Park,” Creecy said.