By Umamah Bakharia
It has emerged that 14 babies and toddlers starved to death in Nelson Mandela over the past 15 months.
An exposé by the Daily Maverick further revealed that another 216 new cases of severe acute malnutrition were confirmed.
More shockingly, the publication reported that the Eastern Cape Department of Social Development forfeited R67-million meant to assist those worse affected by poverty in the province.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Project Hope’s Madge Blignaut says this is a result of a lockdown that has left people in need.
“We have unfortunately seen through lockdown, especially 2020/2021 people gave generously and we were able to help many people but we are still stuck in the same poverty,” says Blignaut.
From an NGO perspective, Blignaut says the country is still facing the same situation “but with depleted resources.”
The failure of the government has resulted in people starving as Blignaut adds that this is also a call on society to act responsibly.
“I think every one of us needs to sit up and say ‘what can I do?’ ‘what can I contribute?’ and its not enough for us to carry on,” says Blignaut.
Project Hope is calling on government and society to step up in their role to take care of the communities.