Most of the women in the group and community in Pietermaritzburg Central, KZN, are surviving on hand to mouth basis where, in a normal situation, spend the day doing different activities. depending on day today activity. The lockdown is stopping the women has stopped the women from being financially independent. Apart from that, the means of survival is becoming extremely undermined. At the end of the day their families are starving and their major worry is they will die of hunger and not coronavirus. Apart from being stripped of their financial independence, women are also now exposed to gender-based violence since they are forced to spent more time with their male counterparts which they are not used to.
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.
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.
On the 3rd day of the South African lockdown, some people went to Jane Furse plaza, Sekhukhune South Africa and other nearby centres to collect their Sassa money. Jane Furse plaza was overcrowded as people couldn’t wait to collect their grants until the end of the lockdown. The nearby garage was also fully packed. The nature of the queues defeated the whole purpose of social distancing and people had no masks and some knew nothing about sanitizers. The situation was worsened by lack of immediate facility for people to wash their hands. Poverty drove a lot of people to collect their grants even during the time they are advised to exercise self-isolation and this poses a risk of an increase in the spread of the virus.