Cost Of Living March: Children starve due to out-of-control crisis

Issued by Andrew Whitfield MP – DA EC Provincial Leader
04 Oct 2023 in News

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbites in English by Eastern Cape Provincial Leader, Andrew Whitfield MP, Afrikaans by EC spokesperson, Georgina Faldtman, and  IsiXhosa by Phesheya Kwenciba Constituency Leader, Mlindi Nhanha MP. Also find attached speech and soundbite by Chief Whip of the Official Opposition, Siviwe Gwarube MP. 

The Eastern Cape is one of the most poverty-stricken provinces in South Africa and the hardest hit by the devastating cost-of-living crisis crippling the country. The desperation of parents to save their children from a slow painful death by starvation due to extreme poverty has recently led to mothers allegedly killing their children before committing suicide.

In August of this year tragedy struck the Tholeni Administrative area in Butterworth, where a mother allegedly poisoned her three young children, before taking her own life.

Last month a young mother from Port St Johns allegedly killed three of her children by poisoning after which she committed suicide. These desperate acts were all apparently motivated by extreme poverty.

Today, 4 October 2023, I was joined by the Chief Whip of the Official Opposition, Siviwe Gwarube MP, DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, Bridget Masango MP, as well as other members of parliament and the provincial legislature, as we led a march through the streets of Butterworth and delivered a memorandum to the office of the Eastern Cape MEC for Social Development, Bukiwe Fanta.

(see pictures here, here, here, here and here)

We will also deliver a copy of the memorandum to the Minister of Social Development. The DA now requests that the MEC engage with her cabinet colleagues at a provincial and national level to finally implement solutions to this crisis that is slowly killing our fellow citizens.

While our children starve and die, the ANC government drags its feet on reforms that would make a real difference in the cost of basic goods and enable poverty-stricken families to put food on the table.

Given the ANC government’s inability and unwillingness to deal with the cost-of-living crisis, the DA has proposed several interventions that can, if implemented, save our fellow citizens from further suffering.

These include:

  • Cut taxes and levies on fuel to reduce the cost of transporting food.
  • Scrap VAT on the food items most purchased by the poorest households by reviewing and expanding the zero-rated food basket.
  • Review and reduce import tariffs on foods consumed by low-income households.
  • Provide private titles to all land reform beneficiaries to increase food supply and security while reducing prices.
  • Increase the child support grant, raising it from R500 to the same level as the official food poverty line.

The DA has the solutions to cut the cost of living and will do everything in its power to rescue the Eastern Cape from the clutches of poverty and starvation.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at