Unique auction aims to raise R1m to supplement battling Khayelitsha food kitchens, Newsline

Cape Town – There is an ever-growing food crisis in South Africa, despite the country having entered level 1 of the lockdown.

With little help from the government on offer to feeding schemes, Constantia CAN has seized the initiative by aiming to raise more than R1 million to aid and supplement 22 soup kitchens in Khayelitsha through an auction on Thursday.

Last week, for example, Tafelsig CAN activist Joanie Fredericks expressed her ‘’deepest disappointment in a president that continues to fail the nation on the empty stomachs of millions of people”.

She had sent a video message to Ramaphosa at the start of the lockdown, which went viral, and is also one of the organisers behind the Dear Mr President video project, on behalf of thousands of other soup kitchens and food activists across South Africa, which tells the collective stories of desperate communities. So far, to no avail.

Constantia CAN, launched in April in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, feeds 4 000 people daily – mostly children – reaching 22 soup kitchens in Khayelitsha, Westlake, Retreat, and Steenberg. It has delivered 569 243 meals to the value of about R2 759 703.

Suzanne Johnson, of Constantia CAN, said in a statement: ‘’The hunger crisis is far from over. We have to keep feeding those in need. This auction is a rarity, this level of access to some of the most amazing items that South Africa has to offer.

“A charity auction charges 0% commission, 0% bidder’s fee, 0% seller’s fee, and as a registered charity, we do not charge VAT. We need South Africans to register and ‘Bid4Good’.”

More than 100 lots have been donated by retailers, travel companies and artists. Some unique items on offer including a new Harley-Davidson Street Rod, valued at R120 000; a two-night getaway to Ellerman House worth R60 000; and even a varicose vein surgery worth in excess of R60 000, courtesy of one of South Africa’s top practitioners, Dr Gideon L van Wyk of Vein Solutions

Over 40 artists have donated artwork to the auction, from oil on canvas to bronze sculptures, having collaborated with the Spier Arts Trust to reach South African artists all over the country.

Foodies and wine connoisseurs will find a wide selection of private dining experiences, magnum bottles, signed collectors editions, worth up to R50 000, and Steenberg Farm & Golf Club have donated a package including fourball lessons, dinner vouchers and a case of Steenberg wine.

Constantia CAN is part of the Community Action Network and one of the many amazing CAN groups in South Africa. They work closely with Ladles of Love to name just one.

The auction website is ConstantiaCAN.clickauction.co.za