Fri, Jun 5, 2020

Activist call for a clear communication strategy when it comes to COVID-19


I am Amo Tshabalala in Sefikile Village North West Province under Moses Kotane Local Municipality. I think that is not fair for alliterate people as everything has happened so fast. It has affected us activists and everyone in the community so negatively. The illeterate people while they are still trying to understand what is this corona virus then the lockdown is effected and they don’t even know what lockdown is or what it means. Now we have to explain as community activists but its difficult since we can’t be seen outside along the road or anywhere for that matter without a serious reason. In my community/village they take everything serious even though they didn’t hear what you said exactly but they do what they think you said and in this case it is lockdown and they are indoors. People who are depending on piece jobs its hard for them now to put bread on the table as we all know that no unnecessary movement is allowed. Builders also got affected by this lockdown too as they also can’t do anything and we all know what that means, no food on the table again. Now, how many homes have no food on the table because of corona virus?

Every information should be written or given in indigenous languages but now I think everything has gone too much to social media and my concern is what about the illiterate people, those who can’t afford smart phones, and those who can’t afford data to get the info about corona virus? Information should be accessible by all including those in rural areas. We should work together and make sure that we are safe. #stayhomeandsafeyourfamily.

People in Limpopo province yet to comprehend what COVID-19 is all about


by Mmabore…I am really saddened by the pandemic because it is going to affect a lot of us badly and the economy. I wish traditional practitioners could tell if it the end of the world, punishment from creator or just a disease to teach people to respect and love one another.

My family is coping even if you can see the confusion in some. They wonder what Corona is. We live in a rural a area in GaMogashoa village, Ga Sekhukhune Limpopo, South Africa and we haven’t heard of anyone who has been infected which makes us feel safe. We believe in tradition and from our belief traditional practitioners used to do rituals to prevent diseases from entering our country back then and since most of the rituals are not being done anymore it might be another reason we have COVID-19. Another problem is a seasonal sickness that affect chickens, some of the family members are asking if this disease is the same. The fortunate part for chickens is that there is a tree that is been mixed with water for prevention and now with the people they don’t know what to do. Our children talk more about Corona but the problem is difficult to tell them to stay indoors the whole day. Some go to the neighbors to see their friends.

Some of the people say Corona is not there and some say it is for white people only. In most cases, people take long to believe until they see someone close or a friend infected. I still see some of the people who are always on the road for no reason. Some don’t even know the symptoms. I asked some of my friends their view on the virus and some said that we are all going to die. Another problem is some of the rumors and videos that are circulating about COVID-19. One video say the problem is caused by 5G which confuse us whether it is from animals or not. Another problem is people complain about basic services like water and electricity. Network is also not good and that makes things difficult. Taxis are also a problem as we have to go to Jane Furse to buy food and unable to come back early as taxis only operate in the morning and evening.

Another challenge in the community during this pandemic is unemployment, small businesses that have been affected and water scarcity. Some households do not have food. Those who were in towns looking for work have came home and the pensioners have to take care of them too. People will be spending more time at home and food won’t last which adds to the problems. Price hikes is also a problem. I bought eggs at a near shop for around R84, a day before the lockdown and the price had gone up to R100 meaning they have added R16 in few days because of lockdown.

COVID-19 depriving security forces of their family time


by Nonkosi in Braamfisher in Soweto…On Monday 12 April four liquor traders were arrested for contravening the Disaster Management Act of 2020 by selling liquor and cigarettes during the lock down. This shows that people are no taking COVID-19 seriously.

One of the soldiers we interfaced with was so frustrated by people of Braamfisher’s behavior. I laughed and said at least you are making money and we SAPS members are getting not anything. He said you are fortunate because you are able to see your family. “I’m home sick and if people don’t listen and behave like this,we will be deployed and stay in our camps till this is over. Money won’t make up for the time lost with our family” said the soldier.
Its the little things that we take for granted that matters more. We are working for long hours forcing people to stay home for their safety. It is unfortunate that street vendors can’t operate their business and the extension of the lock down means that they won’t be able to provide for their families. Every time I go back home I am afraid that I can infect my family. To keep them safe. At least the little that people can do is to stay at home. Nonetheless, I would like to thank our petrol attendants who are rendering services to the essential workers.

Lockdown regulations not respected


by Rapule Moiloa…When lock down was announced it was meant to protect the people so that people maintain social distancing but since the start of lock down, people are failing to respect the regulations. Many people in Tembisa walk freely because there is no police to enforce the regulations and I’ve realised there are goats roaming around the streets and one wonders where the owner is to keep them off the streets.

Infringement of human rights under pretext of enforcing lockdown- as livelihoods are threatened


Anonymous…On the 8th of April one guy was beaten so badly by police here near my flat in Durban, Russell Street. We are really suffering because this has been happening since the lockdown started, sometimes they don’t even ask where you are going they just start beating you. Some of our papers have expired we can’t go for renewal because we even scared to go to home Affairs. We have a fear that we will be arrested after lockdown because we are now illegal citizens because we have no papers.

by Michael…It’s day 12 of the lock down as I am getting ready to go out, buy grocery for PACSA garden assistant. My what’s app is full of messages, other forwarded from PACSA Process Facilitators. As per government directive, for me to leave my house I need permit, classifying my work as essential service! I wonder if fighting for social justice is classified as one, human rights watch is one them, buying groceries for the garden assistant is one of those. First two  kilometers from my house road block. Here is my conversation with the police officers;

Police: Where are you going,

Me: Going to buy grocery

Police: Didn’t you buy before the lock down.

Me : I did, but this time is not mine, its for a colleague who is being paid on a daily basis depending on the work he does and as we are in a lockdown he is in a danger of hunger and starvation.

Sewage in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga


On the 25th of February at Vosman under Emalahleni municipality in Mpumalanga the sewer was leaking that it filled the whole home, home dwellers could not come out of the house as it happened at night. The poor installation of the sewer and the storage of the sewer drain by the planners is costing the community members.
Story by Vusi akaMabaso

Empowering communities to tell their stories bears fruits



By Thokozile Mntambo


Government intervention is vital for waste industry



On the 7th of November I had an interview with Jozi FM where i aired my views on the significance of informal recycling in Thulani Snake park Soweto. I also expressed the need for government to regulate the waste industry so that community members are able to make a meaningful livelihood from collecting waste.




The councillor of Thulani Snake Park approached me and asked if I can present the matter during a community meeting and make a petition. He wrote a notice of motion pertaining to the buy back centre in terms of Rule 89 of the standing rules of council.


The notice read:

Ward 129, Thulani Doornkorp is one of the poorest wards in the city of Johannesburg. As a result some residents have resorted to making a living through the collecting waste.

There is a council resolution to establish a buy back centre .This will enable the supporting of residents in the ward especially those who are making a living through collecting recyclables.


* Buy back centre will facilitate economic growth.

*Economically depressed areas need intervention to address poverty

* buy back centres will contribute to IDP programme of increasing Jo’burg economy growth by 5 %




The Councillor then took this motion to the chamber and he sent an audio where he noted  that he was in agreement that Thulani Snake park  receives a buy back centre.


A buy back centre is a depot where individuals waste collectors can sell their recyclables.