Law stifles redistribution of surplus food to the poor

It seems section 61 of the Consumer Protection Act is standing in the way of food producers, distributors and retail companies who could feed more than 14 million South Africans who go hungry every day.

Lawyers advocating the distribution of surplus food to the poor are calling for a section of the act to be changed to allow donors to feed more people who go hungry in South Africa.

Natascha Harduth, director at Werksmans Attorneys says section 61 has a disheartening impact on food distributors and retailers who to donate food, because they'll be held liable for any harm caused by their products. This stands in the way of food being redistributed to those in need.

If you donate food that has passed its sell by date and it causes illness then you could be sued. A lot of retailers are concerned about this.

Natascha Harduth, Director at Werksmans Attorneys

Harduth says food in South Africa may not be donated after its expiry date but in the US there is a legislated provision that food that doesn't meet retailing standard can be tested and redistributed.

The movement for the distribution of surplus food for the poor together with Food Bank are lobbying for legislation that will protect food donors who wants to donate food to the poor.

Listen below to hear more on what these lawyers are lobbying for:


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