News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
7 May 2020
8:21 pm

Lesufi tries to ‘find middle ground’ as NPO threatens court action over food parcels

News24 Wire

Lesufi said he had instructed lawyers to talk to Solidarity Helping Hand and come to an agreement.

Residents of Masiphumelele informal settlement gather around a vehicle as a volunteer (C) delivers food parcels to vulnerable families in the community of Masiphumelele, Cape Town, South Africa, 15 April 2020. Picture: EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

Acting Gauteng social development MEC Panyaza Lesufi says he is aware of Solidarity Helping Hand’s pending court action over food distribution, but has instructed lawyers to meet with the non-profit organisation (NPO) to “find a middle ground”.

Earlier this week, Solidarity Helping Hand said it was preparing to take legal action against the government for allegedly centralising food distribution to the poor.

The organisation said it would take legal action “should [the government] continue to implement regulations prescribing that the distribution of food to the poor be centralised under government control”.

Speaking at the weekly Gauteng Coronavirus Command Council media briefing on Thursday, Lesufi said he was aware of a “threatening” letter sent to government by the organisation of possible court action in the belief that government’s request to “work together” is illegal.

Lesufi said he had instructed lawyers to talk to the organisation and come to an agreement.

He maintained that government did not want to “steal the thunder from any NPO”, but only wanted more coordination to avoid organisations providing services to communities which had already been catered for.

“We don’t want to steal the thunder from any NPO, but if we work together and channel our energies together it will assist to eliminate duplication,” Lesufi said.

He added government appreciated the work of NPOs, saying “they are the legs and eyes of government”.

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