SELEBI-PHIKWE: Selebi-Phikwe Mayor, Amogelang Mojuta, says that the Town Council has not encountered any problems with regard to the destitute coupon system since it was put in place two months ago.
Addressing a full council meeting, Mojuta said there are some beneficiaries who are yet to obtain electronic cards and the Council has made arrangements that the old system be accessible until they are enrolled into the card system.
Caretaker, Dintle Baipidi, who gets her rations from Pioneer shop said: "Our dignity has been restored as the new system is very convenient and one is at liberty to buy whatever they want anytime of the month provided there is money left in her/his account.
"Some people used to shun us as we pushed wheelbarrows to get our food every month, but today we march with pride to any shop that we want," she announced.
There have been incidences where the beneficiaries were not free to get their food baskets from the shops as other people would laugh at them and call them derogatory names.
The new arrangement means that they will no longer be queuing in shops, the thing that erodes their dignity. These beneficiaries have been eagerly waiting for the ATM size cards, which they will be using to access rations from the selected shops. The Council has already paid an amount of P533.980 for this month's supply but the amount may change depending on numbers registered or withdrawn.
Point of sale machines have been installed in all the seven shops that have been recommended to supply. For the 14 applications that the council received from merchants who wanted to supply the ration only seven have been recommended.
During a recent interview, the council's Senior Public Relations Officer, Ogomoditse Gaokgethelwe, indicated that some of
Shops were expected to produce trading licences, tax certificates, till slip, electricity and bank account. Most of the shops that failed to meet the requirements did not have tax certificates.
In Botshabelo North, shops that were recommended are Konkomi Enterprises and Kenameditswe General Dealer while in Botshabelo South only Try Me General Dealer was recommended. In Re ka Kgona only Pioneer Superette has been recommended. Leseding Supermarket, Marakanelo General Dealer and Mothic Investments have met the criteria to supply Ikageleng and Kagiso locations respectively.
The PRO said that they faced some challenges selecting the shops because the tendering process was long and could not allow them to meet the April deadline for implementation.
As such the Ministry of Local Government advised them on the method to use to select shops. "We are also not ruling out the possibilities of more challenges once the implementation commences but we will be ready to tackle them."
She stated that the new coupon system is necessary to address complaints that the beneficiaries were being cheated by the suppliers, given expired or rotten food and sometimes told that a certain product has run out stock.
Each of the orphans is entitled to P605.42 food basket every month, while home-based care patients get P607.42 worth of supplies and destitute persons, P426.94 each. However, the old system will still apply when the beneficiaries get their annual clothing ration.