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April 21, 2020

Community Network joins the fights against COVID-19 Hunger Crisis

The public health crisis and extended government lockdown has community based organisation intervening to alleviate increasing poverty and hidden reality of hunger

With the world engulfed with the COVID-19 pandemic, daily, thousands of people experience heightened anxiety and severe hardships due to possible loss of jobs, income and business closures posed by the necessary lockdown restrictions.  The most imminent threat being hunger. This is the harsh reality for most South Africans in the townships and rural areas who rely on their freedom of movement for their next meal.

The Mining Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa (MEJCON-SA) supported by the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) has committed to identifying 2500 vulnerable households within specific municipalities in Limpopo and to facilitate food delivery parcels provided by the Solidarity Fund to the identified households in Municipal Wards such as Blouberg, Lepele Nkumpi, Greater Letaba, Greater Tubatse, Mutale, Fetakgomo and Mokgalakwena.

40 MEJCON-SA volunteers have devoted themselves to working tirelessly, cautiously and in compliance with the Regulations published by the government in terms of the Disaster Management Act. The volunteers will comply with the necessary precautionary measures to ensure they protect themselves and the recipients during the distribution of the food parcels.

MEJCON is one of many CBOs taking advantage of the Fund. As civil society we commend government’s efforts to minimise the impact of Covid-19 and acknowledge the ensuing food crisis is a socio-economic problem that warrants immediate action. We are aware the need for these food parcels is not confined within the identified municipalities. The two organisations aim to secure additional funding and carry out food distributions to other Provinces in due course.

MEJCON-SA has an existing distribution network with structures and protocols to ensure the safe and efficient relief distribution to vulnerable communities bearing the brunt of the coronavirus. “On the ground it is all systems go, we are ready to move, MEJCON-SA is always ready to fight against any, and all injustices faced by our communities,” says Andries Mocheko, Deputy Secretary of MEJCON-SA and lead coordinator of MEJCON-SA’s COVID-19 response efforts.

END

NOTES TO EDITOR

March 23, MEJCON-SA Statement on COVI19

The Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa (MEJCON-SA) is a network of communities, community-based organisations who promote and defend the environmental and human rights of communities both directly and indirectly affected by mining and mining-related activities.

The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) is a non-profit organisation of activist lawyers who help communities and civil society organisations in South Africa realise our Constitutional right to a healthy environment by advocating and litigating for environmental justice.

CONTACT: Matome Kapa, Steering Committee Coordinator of MEJCON-SA; 072 487 9567; [email protected]; Andries Mocheko, Deputy Secretary of MEJCON-SA 078 929 5413 [email protected]

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