Residents of Eersterust, east of Pretoria, have appealed to the government to speed up the process of delivering food parcels, as the number of families going to bed hungry continues to grow.
Some members of the community say despite submitting their names early this month, no assistance has come from the City of Tshwane Municipality.
Some community members in Eersterust say they don’t know why government officials haven’t visited the area despite the food banks in the city being active. Some areas under the City of Tshwane have received food hampers.
In this video, Eersterust residents say they remain without food:
In Eersterust, most feel sidelined. They say it’s still unclear why the City of Tshwane hasn’t made its way to the poverty-stricken community, where about 4 000 people are affected.
Community leader, Veronica Marian, says the situation is dire.
“Now, you look at families that the husband or the wife used to get up in the morning to go and see where to get an odd job, to get food on the table. They can’t go out because if I now can go to Veronica three times a week I know I can get something for my family. Now, I can’t go to Veronica. She cannot provide that work for me, because she’s also not working. These are the dynamics we are sitting with. The child-headed households … its terrible. What are they living off? The children that used to eat at school are not eating anymore because schools are closed,” says Marian.
While private donors have stepped in to assist in the past weeks, the demand is way higher.
#COVID19 | #Makhura The following is the criteria for food relief beneficiaries:
• Current food insecure households, who are verified and confirmed by social workers;
• The homeless;
• The sickly;
• Child headed households; and
• Victims of Gender-Based violence
— GautengGov (@GautengProvince) April 16, 2020
Stephina Levember is among those who did not receive any hampers.
Levember says it has been tough for her family of 12.
“It has been a struggle to make ends meet. There are no people that would look out for you. Some of the people would cook a pot of food and then come and provide for the little children around here. But for the elders, it’s a struggle because they are looking out of the children, currently because everyone doesn’t have money. And there’s no cash coming in. It’s been a struggle since it started,” says Levember.
Peter Philipsons is a pensioner. His family survives on his social grant and part-time jobs for survival. He’s says attempts to get food hampers are proving to be difficult.
“I’ve been there by the Pick n Pay. They tell us I must register. I haven’t registered. So, I registered and they told me I must come next week,” says Philipsons.
The City of Tshwane could not be reached for comment.
In this video, Pretoria residents are left without food parcels: