The City of Cape Town released the following statement regarding the quality of the expired food items delivered to the Agste Laan Informal Settlement in Valhalla Park, where over 1400 people were left homeless in December.
'The recent incident in the Agste Laan Informal Settlement in Valhalla Park where expired food was included in a delivery, while regrettable, is the exception and not the rule. Read more below:
The expired food made up just 1% of the food that was handed out to residents in Agste Laan. The City of Cape Town would like to reassure residents and more specifically those at the heart of disaster relief efforts that it does everything possible to ensure that the relief aid provided is of the highest quality.
It is regrettable that some residents of the Agste Laan Informal Settlement in Valhalla Park found expired food in the parcels delivered by Disaster Risk Management over the weekend. The items were included in a large consignment of goods and it was later discovered that items in three of the three hundred boxes distributed (1%), had expired.
‘The City immediately communicated with the beneficiaries to return the expired items and disposed of it in the appropriate manner. We have also ordered that all consignments that are packaged be cross checked irrespective of the expiry dates on the outside of the boxes to ensure that the City does not issue any expired food to beneficiaries,’ said Richard Bosman, Executive Director for Safety and Security.
The City receives very large volumes of relief aid to assist those affected by fires and floods every year. Between July and December 2013, the City assisted an estimated 61 000 people and provided nearly 170 000 meals, 2312 food parcels, 57 181 blankets and 1706 baby packs.
Rigorous processes are in place to ensure that the donations of food aid received are of a good quality and fit for human consumption. The City is in the process of investigating this incident and is committed to ensuring that there is no repeat in future.'
You can find the original statement by the Integrated Strategic Communication and Branding Department here.