Caring for the less privileged during Covid-19

Apostle Joshua Mohlala's church handing over food parcels.

As the economy feels the devastating blow delivered by the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown which is in place to prevent its spread, good Samaritans are doing their bit to ease the burden on those who cannot afford to buy food and other necessities.

Vukani spent the weekend tracking churches and organisations as they visited different communities to ease the plight of the poor.

On Friday Apostle Joshua Mohlala of Shekinah Ministry International, joined hands with Radio Zibonele FM to donate groceries to 10 families who where chosen via an SMS campaign through which listeners were encouraged to nominate deserving residents in their areas.

They also gave five gospel artists a R1 000 voucher each. “We can’t fold our arms and watch as people suffer because of the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has claimed over a million lives worldwide. During this difficult period, where artists and the poor are struggling to put food on the table we decided to extend a helping hand,” said Mr Mohlala.

He said the contribution would go a long way in assisting the needy and that the church had a big role to play in assisting during this difficult time.

“As church leaders we are called upon during this time to help the poor,’” he said.

Radio Zibonele manager, Zweli Nokhatywa, said the station was pleased to be working with the church to alleviate poverty during this period. “When we came with this idea, Apostle was eager to come on board. We are happy to be working together for this worthy cause,” he said.

Matshabalala Simanga, who supports six grandchildren with her grant, was one of the beneficiaries. She couldn’t hold back tears as she received her groceries.

Ms Simanga said life had been difficult since the lockdown and she was struggling to put food on the table. “Words cannot explain how grateful I am. May the Almighty bless you abundantly,” she said.

Fighting back tears, another beneficiary, Zoleka Khulu, said she was struggling to make ends meet and was grateful for the groceries that her helper Zithulele Fakade received.

“I want to thank the Apostle for this great gesture. This virus has devastated all of us and we are grateful for the contribution and the helping hand,” she said.

Artist Thumeka said the financial assistance would go a long way in keeping the wolf from the door.

The Asiphelelanga hitmaker said she had had about three major gigs lined up before the first case of Covid-19 in the country and the subsequent lockdown.

“This pandemic has hit us hard. But we are grateful to the Apostle. We keep praying that soon a vaccine will be found so that life can return to normal,” she said.

On the same day the Khayelitsha Community Trust ( KCT) delivered 10 litres of sanitiser to the councillors serving the area.

KCT chief executive officer, Mkhululi Gaula, said the biggest challenges facing the government was managing the spread of the coronavirus in such densely populated, under-resourced areas. “We took this decision to support communities without access or resources to protect themselves during the spread of this pandemic,” said Mr Gaula.

Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson, Ndithini Tyhido, welcomed KCT’s efforts and urged the councillors to be in the forefront of the struggle against the virus.

On Saturday the congregation of Fresh Fire Ministries from Kuyasa distributed a thousand, 500ml bottles of hand sanitiser in BT Section in Site C.

Sisanda Dlulane said the church views Covid-19 as a huge threat to the community and they wanted to spread information to help “flatten the curve”, referring to the infection rate.

She said the sanitiser was manufactured locally in Khayelitsha by Hadiza Fragrance Emporium.

Sub-council 10 manager Clifford Sitonga, who was present during the distribution of the sanitiser, said the City welcomed any safety measures undertaken by community members.

On Sunday Vukani joined Apostle Dr Khaya Maseko of the Salvation Church in Makhaza as he led members of his congregation, distributing food parcels to informal stall-owners whose income had been affected by the lockdown.

“These are people selling vegetables and roasted chicken feet along the road and suddenly they cannot operate because they are obeying the lockdown rules,” said Dr Maseko.

The food parcels were delivered to homes in Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Mfuleni and Lower Crossroads and all the recipients were overwhelmed.