Assist the poor

Mboneleli Gqirana, Site C

A few weeks back I got a call from someone saying they have a friend in Khayelitsha that needs food.

As is the case with requests of this nature, I reached out to my networks. No one had food and most soup kitchens in Site C were/are closed because they simply do not have donations to continue. A referral was out of the question.

I forgot to get back to the someone and told the friend that should we receive any assistance I’ll let them know. A few days later someone calls me fuming, demanding an explanation on why we can’t assist the friend but we run an NGO. After explaining how donations work someone was still angry and said surely someone must be held to account.

I then thought about how I hate the fact that we have to justify our poverty in South Africa. In 2021 there are people who refuse to believe that most people in SA don’t know where their next meal will come from and will probably go to bed hungry.

There are community-based organisations who are known to keep food until it rots, distribute only to their family members and friends, or blackmail community members into working for food – which is a form of slave labour. The center cannot hold any longer.

Restaurants, fast-food outlets and mass retailers would rather let food go to waste – they can’t imagine giving food to people who are “lazy and lack ambition”. There are animals in South Africa with private healthcare plans.

I despise being a community development worker in South Africa sometimes. OoGogo nootata have to humble themselves and approach us cap in hand begging for assistance, because we influence who gets the little that trickles down into our communities.

If you’re able to support a family/individual with anything at all mntase, please do so. We’re fighting a losing battle phandl’apha. Drug dealers never hesitate giving food to people – they are well versed in psychology and how one can be trapped in aid, so they use their financial muscle to devastate our communities.

Yho, South Africa is a crime scene nje.