Food bank street committees tasked with distributing food to the needy have not received their January allowance, New Era can reveal.
New Era was informed there have been delays in previous allowance payments, with street committees not being paid at the end of November.
However, they received a double allowance in December.
Street committee members who preferred anonymity for fear of being victimised said the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare does not have an exact date they pay the allowance.
Although payments vary between street committees and street coordinators, the street committees New Era spoke to receive an allowance of N$1,500 per month.
Street committees are tasked with distributing food to hundreds of thousands of the less privileged people whose income falls below N$400 a month.
The food bank is one of the tenets of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), a government initiative aimed at eradicating poverty and inequality.
“Please find out on our behalf when we will be paid. We are left in the dark,” stated a street committee member from Windhoek who said they were supposed to receive their allowance on the 28th but later the ministry paid them on the 16th of each month.
“The ministry does not have a date on when to pay us,” remarked a street committee member that requested anonymity.
Another street committee member said: “We have school-going children and homes. We need to buy food and take care of our schoolchildren’s needs – imagine until now we have not been paid for January.”
Lot Ndamanomhata the spokesperson for the poverty eradication ministry said the ministry is experiencing technical delays and is trying to move away from the current form of payment to a more efficient and effective one.
Ndamanomhata said: “The ministry regrets the current situation – we are attending to the problem and once it is sorted the allowances will be processed.”
“Again the ministry requests all street committee members to channel all challenges and issues that arise with regard to the food bank to the ministry,” he urged the affected street committees.