"Our lockdown has revealed a very sad fault line in our society that reveals how grinding poverty, inequality and unemployment is tearing the fabric of our communities apart" - President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Talk about stating the obvious!

President Ramaphosa then goes on to share some very nice words but no clear action plan other than more talking shops. Meanwhile the media is full of headlines like this: "One in three adults in SA goes to bed hungry, according to latest research", which really comes as no surprise to those of us who have been working as hard as we can to ensure the neediest and most vulnerable enjoy a degree of food security.

Sadly, here we are 55 days in to our lockdown and still the most basic need of the most vulnerable is failing to be addressed by the government. But this is the disturbing reality out here and it's compounded by the ineptitude of a political system that just doesn't appear to care.

Here are some of our frustrations: Right at the beginning of the lockdown we contacted the local Ward Councillor for Firgrove and to this day have not received a response.  He is also supposed to have 10 food parcels for Firgrove but no one has seen any evidence of them yet.

The Dept of Social Development never responded to our request as a registered NPO to assist with the distribution of the government's food parcels, and we know of no one who has received any such parcel from them, despite there being very clear and obvious needs.

And as for the government's own food parcels, they're about as common as unicorns and hen's teeth.

Things are getting so bad that we are now receiving WhatsApps and SMSs on an almost daily basis from the desperate looking for help.

Putting my ranting aside for a moment, it's time's like this that I'm thankful for the networks and partnerships we have managed to build over the years that we've been here. The blessing of food that was shared with us by My Father's House has really helped some vulnerable people in the community as we've let church members distribute it where they see need.

Our links with the Neighbourhood Watch and being part of the Relief Coordination Team means that we were able to get a food parcel to Pauline (see SMS to left) via another member of the team who had some parcels to deliver on that day.

Through our network of church contacts we were also able to get in touch with the lady above (top image), she lives in a community called Zola, and we know a really good church in her community. They have now sent her a food voucher so she can go to the shops and they will be following up with her to make sure she and her family are OK.

The church treads where governments fail to.

55 days and counting and still no govt assistance in sight


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