The pandemic has minimized productivity and has led South Africa to be downgraded to junk status twice in 2020.
The state of the economy has resulted in severe job losses and led to an increase in consumer prices.
At a crucial time when people need a strong immune system to survive covid-19, food prices and affordability stand in the way of a healthy diet.
An increase of approximately R270 for groceries has been notable to average households over the past 10 months.
Pietermaritzburg Economic, Justice and Dignity Group suggested that the government should restore Social Relief of Distress Grants for vulnerable families.
Mervyn Abrahams raised concerns of the group as they felt that the dignity of underprivileged citizens is compromised, as they have to beg for food and survive on humble circumstances that people would not consider under normal circumstances.
Restrained logistic services alongside increased fuel and electricity prices increase the input cost for manufacturers. As a result, it increases the consumer prices for businesses to be profitable.
Children between the ages of 1 to 6 years are the most vulnerable as malnutrition will have a negative impact on their lives in the future. Without proper nutrition their development is compromised.
The government has a responsibility to generate and grow the economy, with the motive to sustain people through job creation and opportunities that develop the nation.
"If the government cannot create opportunities, they should sustain people by ensuring that everyone has a plate of food before them every single day." Abrahams said when supporting why the government should reintroduce SRD Grants.
Rise Against Hunger Africa CEO, Brian Nell urged that the government needs to introduce a sustainable food security strategy for communities through supporting NGOs and Cooperatives.
The government's initiative to make a difference in the agricultural sector should start at ground level, where subsidies prioritize the most vulnerable households.
Abrahams further suggested that the government should be urged by society to deliver on promises that have been made, using media as society's platform to unite and address concerns to the government.
Voters have been encouraged to use their votes as their voices and put people who are willing to deliver services to the nation as community leaders.
Local food systems should be decentralized and removed from the corporate market to allow more people into the food security chain.
"With the current state of the economy and lockdown regulations, the most convenient and attainable approach to food security is through restored SRD grants." - Mervyn Abrahams.