By: Auto & General
Three severe waves of the coronavirus pushed South Africa’s unemployment rate to a record high of 32.6%. The July unrest only exasperated our unemployment crisis – Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi, estimates that 105 000 people in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng are facing job losses. As a result, South Africa is facing drastic increases in household and child hunger, as well as food insecurity.
According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) , in March 2021, the number of South Africans facing food insecurity rose to 11.8 million from 9.34 million in December 2020. What’s more, this year, Ipsos found that almost half (46%) of adult South Africans agreed with the statement: “Adults and children in my household often had to go hungry during the Covid-19 pandemic, as we did not have enough money for food.”
In April 2020, Auto & General Insurance and it’s holding company Telesure Investment Holdings (TIH), pledged R320 million to assist with South Africa’s Covid-relief efforts. R50 million was used to support the National Solidarity Fund and R70 million was used to support small businesses that were not able to earn an income during the lockdown period. R200 million was used to provide food security and over a period of 15 months, 313 000 food parcels, with enough provisions to feed a family of four for one month, were provided to over 1.2 million people in Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and the North West.
With a fourth wave looming, the insurer has pledged a further R50 million which will be used to provide food security in areas most impacted by the effects of Covid-19.
According to Tom Creamer, CEO of TIH, “We’ll be working with the trusted non-profit organisations that we used previously to feed over 300 000 people in communities that are in dire need. At the end of the day, hunger is a major concern and we want to play our part to assist those in need.”