Government’s Interdepartmental Task Team on Food Security and Food Safety yesterday briefed the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on the implementation of the Food and Nutrition Security Policy and the establishment of the Food Control Agency.
The Task Team is made up of the departments of Social Development, Basic Education, Health, Land Reform and Rural Development, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, as well as Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
The committee acknowledged and welcomed the report. The Chairperson of the committee Ms Machwene Semenya advised the six departments that constitute the Interdepartmental Task Team to also involve municipalities, especially those that have been identified as high risk for food insecurity.
She also said: “On food safety, we appreciate your collaboration with the food industry. There is a need to tighten up the monitoring of food so that the children in schools can eat safe food.”
The committee was unhappy with the report on the implementation of the Audit Action Plan by the Marine Living Resources Fund on issues raised by the Auditor-General. The committee noted limited efforts to address fruitless and wasteful expenditure that has been mentioned in the Auditor-General’s report. The committee was also concerned that fishermen do not trust the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Ms Semenya said the DG must monitor the Marine Living Resources Fund’s action plan and ensure that the post of the Chief Financial Officer and other critical posts are filled. In respect of the presentation on Internal Audit recommendations on conditional grants by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, she emphasised that there should be a monitoring framework to locate funded projects according to the municipalities that are identified as falling into the high risk of food insecurity.
The committee also welcomed the report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Harris, Nupen and Molebatsi and the Emang Basadi Forensic reports.