113 000 people lost their source of income as the pandemic continued to run down the provincial economy.
DA member of legislature Jane Sithole has called on the province’s social development department to consider the use of its nutrition program to help alleviate the burdens brought about in families who suffered job losses jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Currently, the provincial department gives food to close to 60 000 people across Mpumalanga.
Sithole wants this to be increased, to cover the total number of 113 000 people who lost jobs in last year’s first three months of lockdown and this year’s first quarter.
Currently in Mpumalanga, 59 422 people accessed food through the department’s relief programs such as ECDs, drop-in centres, Community Nutrition and Development Centres (CNDCs).
The recently released Quarterly Labour Force Survey shows Mpumalanga will face difficulties in turning things around economically, Sithole said.
“The report painted a rather grim outlook on the economy of Mpumalanga and its potential to provide an enabling environment for the residents of this province,” said Sithole.
Between May 2020 and May 2021, the food prices increased by 5.6%, according to Statistics SA, and this has put more burdens on the shoulders of many families.
Daily used food such as bread and meat increased in price by 4.9% and 8.5% respectively, while fish increased by 7%, vegetables (6%), eggs and milk (5.7%).
“The increases in these essential goods could mean that more households will have to stretch their budgets and there will be more of the residents in our province going to bed hungry,” she said.
She added they will write to Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane and ask her to detail her economic plan for the province.
(edited by MLM)
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