As the country marks Human Rights Day, the community of Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, outside Cape Town, says food insecurity is one of the main challenges facing them. With high unemployment in the area, many depend on soup kitchens.
Some say the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already dire situation.
The residents described the area as a “forgotten” people. As with many other townships, challenges include housing and sanitation with alcohol and drug abuse among the social ills.
Recently humanitarian organisation, Gift of the Givers, distributed much-need food items, stationery, shoes and other necessities to the local primary school. It is estimated that more than half of the people living in the area are jobless. Residents say these are among the most pressing issues affecting their human dignity.
“The reason why most of the people are reliant on the soup kitchens is because they don’t have a work, there’s no income, sometimes its a single parent who must look after lots of children, sometimes its a grandma that has no income like that and it is like here in Sir Lowry’s Pass most of the people if they don’t have money they go to the soup kitchen for something to eat,” says resident Leah Coetzee.
Discussion on the right to food in SA:
Community leaders say young people need recreational facilities and programmes, while there is also a need for skills development among adults.
Community leader Emily Stewart explains,” Food insecurity in Sir Lowrys Pass is a big challenge because there are lots of families that are without food because of the pandemic, because of unemployment and also because of the fact that there’s just nothing for them to eat in the community. I would say more or less 35 % of our people are employed. People need jobs, young people after school that need to go study further, and skills so that people can develop themselves.”
While access to food is a basic human right, many here do not know where their next meal will come from.
Sir Lowry’s Pass Village face food insecurity challenges: