Mon, Aug 3, 2020

Coronavirus infect all and sundry- That it only affects rich people is a myth

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By Buti Botopela…in Ikemeleng community. As at 15 March 2020,the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster, responding to COVID-19 cases which had been reported. The message shared is loud and clear that we must slow down the spread of this virus in order for us to be able to respond to all the health needs in our communities. I personally felt that my life is at risk . Ikemeleng community is made up of multi African nationals and many don’t even know, what COVID – 19 is. What does it mean when people say it’s lock down? In Ikemeleng community, move around freely and they only disappear when they see the police and soldiers moving around the community streets making sure that people are safe and indoors.
I interviewed 3 of the community members whose names can’t be revealed.

I asked them about what coronavirus and lockdown means to them. Their response was that coronavirus only infect the rich people and not poor people.COVID – 19 is increasing poverty within the community. They even told me that they are not going to sleep with empty stomachs as they depend on piece jobs to feed their families. The situation is getting worst daily. What trajectory or what path this pandemic will take is uncertain.

We all need to help the government slowdown the spread of this virus by complying with the rules set out through avoiding visiting others and playing together especially the kids should stay home and indoors.

Starvation worry citizens more than coronavirus

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On the 8th of March 2020, in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal, different communities’ leaders were distributing food parcels to citizens and these included 10kg of maize, 3 kgs rice and 4 toilet papers. The food was not enough for people and those who didn’t get the food were very frustrated, it was a painful experience. During the food distribution process, no one cared about social distance as everyone jostled to get a portion. To make matters worse, community leaders themselves did not have personal protective clothing and some did not even have hand sanitisers. People are frustrated more by hunger than issues to do with protecting oneself from the deadly virus.  

Coronavirus- Conspiracy theories rock Maputo

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By: Francisco Manhique…It is still possible to move around the city of Maputo in a state of emergency and find a cluster of people without masks. Among the arguments are: We are Africans, this disease kills white people; With African medicine we can cure Covid-19; Our temperatures are not favourable for the survival of Covid-19.

However, on April 10, by the way, Good Friday, it was announced that there were 20 positive cases of corona virus in Mozambique. Not ignoring the question of ignorance, there is also the question of survival, among the people, there are those who work for daily bread, so, among the concerns, there is a possible axiom, “If I stay at home, I will starve and if I go out to work I will be infected with COVID-19”.

This report does not provide answers, but on the other hand, it brings the reality of a people who struggle every day to find what to eat, in this regard, what do we do and what is the government’s role in times of crisis like this?

“A disciplina Salvou a China, A Indisciplina Afogou a Europa e a Ignorância vai Matar a Africa”.

Discipline Saved China, Indiscipline Drowned Europe and Ignorance Will Kill Africa”.

Por: Francisco Manhique

Ainda é possível circular arredores da cidade de Maputo em pleno estado de emergência e encontrar um aglomerado de pessoas e sem mascaras. Entre os argumentos destacam-se:

  • Somos Africanos, essa doença é dos brancos;
  • Com a medicina Africa podemos curar a Covid-19;
  • Nossas temperaturas são imunes a Covid-19.

Entretanto, no dia 10 de Abril, por sinal sexta-feira santa, contabilizavam 20 casos positivos por corona Vírus em Moçambique. Não deixando de lado a questão da ignorância, existe também a questão da sobrevivência, entre as pessoas na imagem, há os que trabalham pelo pão de cada dia, desta forma, entre as preocupações, há um possível axioma, “se fico em casa, passo fome, se saio para trabalhar fico contaminado pelo covid-19”.

Esta reportagem não traz respostas, mas traz por outro lado, a realidade de um povo que luta todos os dias para ter oque comer, quanto a isso, oque fazer? Ou talvez dizer, qual deve ser o papel dp governo em tempos de crise tal como é em tempos do Covid-19. 

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.

COVID-19 Lockdown – Local shops too small to cater for the big Sefikile Village

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By Amo Tshabalala

COVID 19 has affected us negatively and I personally feel and think that everything has happened so fast that most of the people didn’t get a chance to understand what this is all about. By the time they try to figure out, a lockdown has already been institutedLocal shops are open but we can’t find everything that we want because the shops are too small to cater for a big village like ours, Sefikile Village under Moses Kotane Local Municipality in North West Province. Despite us failing to get most of the stuff that we want from the shops, we don’t have many problems, we have access to water and we are following updates from TV and radio on the status quo of the crisis.

Some of the people were beaten for not cooperating but that didn’t happen because of lack of knowledge it was because of them being rude and not following the instructions. The police found them in the street boozing and the police tried to talk to them nicely but they refused to disperse. Everyone in the village is now abiding by the instructions on the lockdown. However, the rising cases of the virus in North West Province is worrying us. I would like to urge everyone to abide by what the authorities say to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Let’s stay home and be free from COVID-19. #stayhomeandfightcovid19togetherasone.

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.

Extension of the lockdown worrying

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Rapule Moiloa in Tembisa…The 16th of April marked the end of episode 1 of the South African lock down and the episode 2 started on 17 April. People are asking each other if these lock downs will really end as they are worried about rentals which are due, school fees, food and other important things. The issue that some of the people are happy with is that alcohol is not being sold because taverns are in between houses and that crime rate is now low.

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.

Small business hard hit by lockdown

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For smaller business owners who are not operating online, times like these might be a setback for their businesses. Maybe people should be sponsored with data to run their businesses online or given a better option to do business. Yes, government is assisting but more needs to be done for the sake of the country’s economy and improving lives. People who were doing door to door business are suffering. What should be done to help them? Will they be able to make enough money to take care of their families? Will government be able to offer enough food parcels to make sure they do not go to bed on empty stomachs?

SA citizens pour out their feelings on lockdown

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by Nompilo…The conditions of conducting burial processes during lockdown are very frustrating and hard more especially in rural areas where the people strongly believe in their cultural practices and beliefs and where information about coronavirus has not been sufficiently spread. We had a very bad experience with my family at Maphumulo in Mambedwini, KZN having to bury our father under such restrictive circumstances. Having to adhere with the rules of lockdown robbed us opportunity and opportunity to mourn and bury our father in honour according to the dictates of our culture.  

by Njabulo Togane, PACSA, Pietermaritzburg, KZN…My name is Njabulo Togane and I reside in Cinderella Park which is a diverse community in terms of race. The community has different setups such as informal settlement, RDP houses and self-built houses. As we mark day 13 of the South Africa lockdown as a person who works with the marginalized constituencies who don’t have any means of communication but only meeting at PACSA office has been very much difficult to engage and communicate with them and I feel helpless because the regulations that were enforced upon us as the public of South Africa limited my movements.

by RapuleLucky not his real name is my friend from Soweto and he is one of the people who has a small business next to Bara Hospital. He sells sweets, snacks, cold drinks and he said to me last night that he is worried about paying his son’s fees, pay rent as he is renting for now the rent is 1000 rands because his business has been affected. He is contemplating to look for work after the lockdown.  

AnonymousIn my community(Eshowe) the problem now is alcohol it’s really scary the way people are in need of alcohol than to protect themselves from corona ,they are people who are selling it even police know them but they are keeping quiet about it, people are wasting money on alcohol than food, it’s really confusing what people are doing.