As we enter a time where the fear of starvation becomes more prevalent than the fear of Covid-19, we need to look for more effective strategies to look after the needs of the most desperate in our communities.
Government has moved decisively to address the health crisis brought on by Covid-19. Now we need to show equal resolve in responding to the new crisis faced by our communities: hunger.
President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcements of new social support measures will provide a welcome relief to many, but are unlikely to prevent an upsurge in hunger-related protests. The present ad hoc measures to roll out food parcels and slowly emerging plans for economic recovery are inadequate in the face of the hunger crisis that is unfolding.
A more coherent and engaged strategy is needed to gain trust and build community emergency support systems.
Read the rest of this Daily Maverick opinion piece here.
Dr. Hugo van der Merwe is the Director of Research, Knowledge and Learning at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation. Since joining CSVR in 1997, he has developed and managed numerous research projects evaluating the work and impact of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and managed various research, advocacy and intervention projects relating to transitional justice in South Africa and on the African continent.