When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of Covid-19 at the end of March, few anticipated how long the lockdown would continue – or the devastating impact it would have, particularly on the poor and those who earn a living from doing piecemeal work.
Among those are Neziswa Mbovane and her family who live in Bardale near Mfuleni.
Seven months ago she gave birth to triplets.
Shocked and stressed about how she would support her now five children, she admitted to wanting to leave one behind at the hospital but was warned by social workers that she would live to regret the decision.
Today, she says, she is grateful to God for blessing her with triplets Iyazi, Izibele and Emile as well as her two older children, Kungawe, 9, and Kubobonke, 4. But she is having a hard time feeding and clothing them.
With a monthly social grant of R2 700, Ms Mbovane and her husband Sakhiwo, support their five children, pay rent of R800, and also have to cover the cost of electricity, groceries and clothing.
She also uses some of the money to pay for school fees, uniforms and burial society costs.
“It is tough now. My husband is doing all he can to support us, but since the lockdown, piece jobs are scarce. Jobs have dried out,” she told Vukani at her Bardale home.
Desperately trying to get by, Ms Mbovane has appealed to people to donate whatever they have to assist her.
“There is no time to be picky. I will take whatever people give me. All I need is help for my children. If my husband could get a job, things would be better,” she said, expressing her gratitude to those who have already lent a helping hand.
These good Samaritans, she said, had apparently responded to an appeal someone had posted on Facebook.
Living in the same yard she rents space in, she said, there was another woman who had triplets and another who had twins. “When I came here I laughed at them, not knowing that I would also get triplets,” she said.
Anyone with help can contact her on 060 557 9122 or the husband on 064 091 2677.