Thu, Dec 3, 2020

Around Tembisa

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by Rapule Moiloa in Tembisa

Many of the people in Tembisa believe in making money through selling cooked food. Their market place is out side shopping complexes, taxi ranks etc. What is worrying now is that they defy lockdown rules and regulations but only remember them when they clash with the law enforcement agents. I witnessed men cooking and selling mogodu just out side a shopping complex attracting many customers at once but with no safety measures in place. I have heard that Ekurhuleni is one of the metros with many cases of the virus that makes it a hot spot of the pandemic but I have realsied that people only put on masks so that they are allowed into the mall but remove them as soon as they leave the complex.

Meanwhile, it is worrying how those who are entrusted with distribution food parcels are helping themselves first before the people who are in really in need of the food. This is despite that fact that we are in a situation where many people have lost their livelihoods and can nolonger afford to fend themselves and their families. In Vusimuzi, the community registered to get food parcels that were donated and list of names were used to for the people who registered to get food parcels.

On another note, these days the SAPS department has been in the fore front ensuring that citizens adhere to rules and regulations of the lock down. Before entry at the Tembisa police station, officers scan people to check their temperature and the officers record each person’s temperature and they have implemented a no mask no entry principle at the premises whilst enforcing social distancing. I’ve witnessed the same at Spar Supermarket although they do note check temperature but the principle of no mask no entry is enforced.

To what extent are the food parcels sustainable?

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On the 12th of May 2020, at Imbali Unit 14 in Pietermaritzburg, boxes of food parcels were delivered to the community members who applied. The distributors were moving around door to door assessing if the household qualifies to get the food parcel. The parcel was comprised of 5kg meal mealie, 2×2kg rice,4 butternuts, 4 onions, 2×500ml bottles of cooking oil, 1kg brown sugar, 5 cans of baked beans and 3 cans of pilchards. Now my worry is how many people can be sustained by this parcel and for how long will it last because one thing for sure is that there are families who solely depend on such parcels as such families do not have any sources of income.

Hunger strikes as children resort to selling

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by Rapule Moiloa in Tembisa Vusimuzi

Since the start of the locked down, I have realised that children play every where with no problem at all. To my surprise yesterday morning I witnessed three kids between the ages of 9 and 14 moving door to door selling tissues and steel wool without putting on face masks. When I asked whom the stuff belong to they said that they were helping their unemployed mother to generate income. They said she is engaged in an informal business which has since been affected by the lockdown and her returns cannot even buy these days makes a small profit not enough to buy a bag of mealie meal. The older one said that they had since registered for food parcels and to date they haven’t received anything and they now miss going to school.

On another note, I am worried by people who seem not to care about their health and safety or that of others. I am not sure whether it is out of ignorance or not if men sit together drinking home brewed alcohol form the same container denouncing the lockdown rules and regulations.

Meanwhile, the police became visible as of yesterday after many days of being inactive around Vusimuzi section in Tembisa as I witnessed some law enforcement agents announcing making an announcement that they will arrest those moving around without wearing masks.

Diversion of food parcels meant for the poor, a cause for concern

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by Rapule Moiloa in Soweto

Lock down did not happen because it was supposed to but it was due to an unforeseen virus that left many people jobless, with out food and caused people’s lives to be on standstill. People who thought of the poor not just about themselves organised food parcels for the poor, the vulnerable and the needy so that they can eat together with their families. However I am disturbed by those who receive these food parcels that instead of taking these food parcels to the relevant people, they help themselves with the same food. These are selfish people who can afford to buy food themselves but they deprive the poor. What should be done when those who are supposed to distribute don’t do the distribution, what should be done when food parcels are found in the back of the car, what can be done when food parcels are distributed at night in the dark for the few or even sold, what should be done when the same food parcels distributed according to structures of the political party and what should be done when the problem is not yet contained?

Congestion during SASSA payouts compromised lockdown regulations

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The 6th of May was the last day of the SASSA pay outs.The roads were so packed and there was too much chaos due to people and traffic congestion. The scary part about this was that nobody seemed to be caring about the spread of COVID-19 as some of the people were not putting on masks and not following the 2 meter distancing. I am one of the concerned people about the Coronavirus lockdown going back to stage 5 as there are some people who thinks this pandemic we are faced with is a joke yet everyday we are updated about new cases and deaths caused by this virus.

Meanwhile, at Imbali Crossing there was a road block where all travelers were stopped and asked where they were going,what are they going to do there and were expected to produce permits. Most of the people were asked to go back because they didn’t have permits yet others did have permits and were told either that it’s not the ones they want or they are not specific enough and people who were going to collect Sassa pay outs had to issue their IDs and SASSA cards as proof. People who were going to purchase groceries and buy essentials were also told to go and get permits for that. My worry is where are we going to get permits to buy groceries?

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle

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Thamie Mokoena in Bramfisher Soweto

United we stand and divided we fall. As Siyanakekel Youth Organisation we embraced this and went out of our way to help the vulnerable and the needy during these hard times. Due to what we are facing through out the country and the world at large, I realised that people are now impatient because they have not working for long and hunger is the subject of the day since the pandemic struck the world. Many of the people are engaged in informal businesses in the township and due to the lock down, they have not been working and this makes life difficult for them. Siyanakekela distributed distirbuted food parcels to the needy in Bramfisher.

Politicisation of COVID-19 food relief

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By Concerned Resident

I have been talking to people i know in Diepkloof And Reverlea with regards to the current situation since lock down. Many confessed that hunger is the major problem since many people last worked before the lock down was announced. There were however challenges associated with food parcels that were supposed to be distributed to people who are in need and Sophie not her real name alluded that one needed to register first for him or her to be able to get the food parcels but to date people who have registered to be helped with food parcels have not received instead few people recieved and these are card carrying members of a certain political party.

In Reverlea, people have been waiting long for the food parcels I’m advised by Suzan not her real name that food parcel donations were brought in Reverlea but the problem is the few parcels that were brought only benefitted a few and when Suzan send a text message to the person in charge of the distribution in their ward asking about the few food parcels that were intended for the community of Reverlea, instead of the person in charge to explain why only few food parcels were brought, the person took Suzan off the list and said the minute her text message was recieved her name was deleted immediately.

Business as usual in Bramfisher

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by Thamie Mokoena…For the community of Bramfisher in Soweto it is business as usual as people move around as if life is normal and as if the country is not on lock down due to the virus. Yesterday some one was using a whistle to call people out side to the streets because a whistle is used for many things in the townships be it to alert the community for meetings if someone is in danger. In this case the person whistled calling other community members to the street corner for the meeting regarding food parcels as food insecurity is becoming a problem since many people have not been going to work to afford food.

African Diaspora Forum rescues communities during lockdown

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By Dorothy Mabelebele

Due to COVID-19, South Africans are urged to stay at home during the lockdown. On the 9th of April 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the extension of lockdown to end of April. President Ramaphosa pleaded with South Africans to make even greater sacrifices so that our country may survive this crisis and so that tens of thousands of lives may be saved, “We will use the coming days to evaluate how we will embark on risk-adjusted measures that can enable a phased recovery of the economy, allowing the return to operation of certain sectors under strictly controlled conditions”, said President Ramaphosa.

African Diaspora Forum (ADF) has met with different communities to help vulnerable with food parcels. On April 20 April, ADF leadership was at Dobsonville Soweto to handover food parcels. ADF Spokesperson Amir Sheikh Hussein said that “When the lockdown was announced by President we decided to assist the local communities and we are very happy that Sowetan migrants business owners together with ward 47 & 48 councillors will hand over the food parcels to them”. Sheik Hussein added that 300 households received food parcels each worth R500 in Meadowlands and surrounding areas further more we have to distribute 1000 food parcels to migrants that reside in Mayfair and Inner City of Johannesburg. Ward 48 councillor Tshepo Nawane concluded by saying that this is what being an African is about, living together and assisting each other, someone who didn’t have food at all today will have something to eat today.

African Diaspora Forum is a non profit organisation open to all willing individuals and organisations sharing the objectives of the forum. It is originally comprised of a number of organisations representing African migrant communities living in South Africa. It facilitate and develop relationships, exchanges and mutual understanding between South Africans and none South African residents in South Africa (in particular, but not exclusively, through the organisation of pan African cultural events; through the participation in civil society organisations at the local level – such as community policing forums, civics, street committees).

Social Justice Organisation join hands to help the needy in PMB

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by Michael…PMB Covid 19 Concerned Collective is an alliance of social justice organizations that have joined forces to help and support the poor and vulnerable communities in fight against corona virus during the nationwide lockdown which was announced by the President of the Republic of South Africa. The organizations such as PACSA, CREATE, Midlands Community Initiative (MCI) and Arise & Shine Community Organization. The PMB Covid 19, using the principles of SEE,JUDGE & ACT took a collective decision based on the needs of the communities with uMgungundlovu District to mobilize support from family members, colleagues from each respective organizations, the business community and community members to support the food parcels drive initiative with an aim to provide food for the needy families. The food parcels under the #sharewithothers was popularised through social media (Whatsapp & Facebook) and has since distributed 50 food parcels to families in need during this lockdown in areas such as Trustfeed, Swaymani, Thembalihle , Azalea ,Edendela ,Cinderella Park and Sobantu. This initiative gave us an opportunity to interact with the community members and to observe the behaviour of people during this lockdown in trying to curb the spread of the corona virus. Most of the precautions that are meant to be followed such as social distancing and washing of hands are seem not to be followed in most of the above mentioned communities that we visited. We are also planning to raise awareness among these communities on the measures they need to take.