Wednesday | 01 April | 2020
By Marli Naidoo
The increase in Covit-19 cases resulted in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of a 21-day lockdown. Some South Africans can work from their homes and a small number who render essential services will carry on as before. There are, however, large numbers of people who are going to stay at home without an income.
More than 50% of all South Africans live under the breadline, which means that they earn less than R1 227 per month. Many of these people who are already suffering, will now have to survive without any income. Currently more than six million children are living with food poverty. These children benefit from the government’s wonderful national feeding programme, but it is only effective when the schools are open. According to the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, it is parents’ responsibility to take care of these children during school holidays and therefore also during the extended Covit-19 school closure. How does a struggling community take care of each other’s children if they themselves are struggling to survive and care for their own children?
I am sure that President Ramaphosa will do everything within his powers to provide for all who are suffering, but it is still an impossible task.
A possible partial solution will be if every individual sees South Africa as an extended community. Your fellow man is not just your friend and family, but every person who is suffering and cannot care of himself and his family.
If you know that your neighbour will not have an income during lockdown and is worried about where he will get money, it would be nice to send him a pocket of vegetables from your garden now and then. Also buy an extra loaf of bread when you go to the shops and leave it at his door. Just make sure that he knows about it before a stray dog gets hold of it!
Appeal to friends to also make contributions to put together a proper food parcel.
Support community projects that distribute food and essentials to poor residential areas. If every person is prepared to contribute something small, it could make a huge difference for a child in a squatter camp.
Stop buying the shops empty. Only buy what you need.
Send your housekeeper and gardener home with food and money in their hands, as well as soap, waterless hand cleaners and other important sanitary products. Keep on paying them during the period of isolation. Buy shopping vouchers that can be used at food stores and give it to somebody who is suffering.
It is now a time for us to look wider in spite of the isolation. Do whatever you can to help others. Together we will survive.
Stats sa: http://www.statssa.gov.za/?p=10334
Inside Education: https://insideeducation.co.za/9-million-sa-learners-face-hunger-as-lockdown-looms/
Business Live: https://www.businesslive.co.za/fm/features/2020-03-19-coronavirus-lockdown-to-leave-sas-poor-high-and-dry/
* All information was correct at the time of publication.