Residents living in NY7, Gugulethu have formed a Covid-19 crisis committee to ensure that the goodwill that has been forthcoming during the national lockdown is directed to those who need it most.
The lockdown, which has been in place since March 27, albeit with restrictions relaxed slightly on Friday May 1, has resulted in many people not being able to work and therefore not earning an income to feed their families.
The committee members are concerned about how good Samaritans are deciding who gets the food parcels and they want to mke sure that those in dire need are not left out.
Committee chairperson Sipho Sityata said they had also found that people were soliciting donations on behalf of the community without letting residents know about what they were doing.
Some of the food that they received, he added, had expired a long time ago and could pose a threat to the health of those who consumed it.
Through their committee, he said, they wanted to create a legitimate and recognisable structure which would deal with any issues related to food donations.
He said everyone was in need of food and so it was important that those who were less fortunate were the first to be given food parcels.
“We do not want this area to be known for fighting over food. We want everything to be resolved in an amicable manner. We do not want to been seen as people who are unruly and hooligans. We want fair process to be followed, and we want those who are less fortunate to be considered first.
“It was disturbing to discover that there are people who request food donations on behalf of the community and yet we are clueless about that. When we knock on these very same doors, we are told that our community had been given food and now we are seen as opportunists.”
Another committee member, Mzonke Mpongosho, said they wanted to create a platform where residents could engage about this matter.
But most importantly, he said, they wanted to create a trusted channel through which residents could get information, and which organisations and leaders could use when they wanted to donate food.