[WSMDiscuss] (Fwd) South Africa - "Cry of the Xcluded's" visionary demands, contrasted with Ramaphosa's depraved, dangerous state - securocrats, non-testing, CT municipality, prisons, SASSA, xenophobes - and increasingly desperate society

Patrick Bond pbond at mail.ngo.za
Thu May 14 08:06:15 CEST 2020


  The Cry of the Xcluded: We want a radical new deal that provides three
  million jobs

By Cry of the Xcluded• 13 May 2020

    We will emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic into a global economic
    crisis and mass unemployment. South Africa was already in an
    economic recession before the pandemic. We have had mass
    unemployment for years. We have had more than 14 million people
    going to bed hungry. Now, everything is set to get worse. A tragedy
    of huge proportions is unfolding and only by standing together can
    complete catastrophe be averted.

In South Africa, and every other country in the world, a great debate is 
underway. What can be done about the looming economic crisis?

One answer is to give vast sums of money to banks, hedge funds, mining 
houses, airlines, oil companies and so on – and, while not explicitly 
stated, cut public spending on all human needs. This is what’s called a 
stimulus package.

A different answer is that we spend vast sums of money to create new 
jobs, build a unified health system, meet human needs and stop climate 

So who and what do we rescue? Banks and corporations, or people and our 

Our answer is this. We need a just transition to a radical Green New 
Deal. Central to that, we want government to hire three million new 
workers. To be employed directly, working for central and local 
government. Provincial government must be absorbed into local government 
to ensure greater capacity.

When must this happen? Now. Because we are suffering right now.

The pandemic has been a searchlight in the dark, picking out every 
injustice and inequality in South Africa. It is these inequalities that 
show us what needs to be done.

There are so many people living in shacks without enough space, without 
clean water, without proper sanitation. They are completely defenceless 
in the face of a crisis.

We need to build decent, spacious housing near parks and places of work. 
We need clean water, sanitation and sewage lines. And we want to break 
the neo-apartheid segregation of the rich and poor. New homes must be 
built in the centres of our cities and towns.

There are tremendous opportunities for employing young people in 
‘building brigades’, where they can be trained to be the bricklayers, 
plumbers and electricians our mass housing programme will need.

Obviously we need a decent health service for all, so that the poor and 
people living in rural areas get the same standard of treatment the rich 
get now.

Our community health workers have been heroic, and this is a foretaste 
of a better future. But they work on a casual and precarious basis. They 
must have contracts, permanent jobs and a living wage.

The lockdown has exposed the scale and number of people living hand to 
mouth, day to day, in the informal sector. The lockdown saw people go 
from being waste-pickers scratching in bins one day, to having no income 
the next.

Never again. People need work. So do the over 11 million people who were 
jobless before the pandemic. This includes those who have given up 
looking for work and those who Stats SA counts as homemakers – mostly women.

Apart from the crisis of unemployment, there is the sheer barbarity of 
some, the collapse of our social fabric, the violence against women and 
children, the xenophobic attacks. Jobs will not solve all our problems, 
but we cannot begin to solve anything while so many are without work.

The lockdown has exposed how millions of South Africans go to bed hungry 
every night. This will continue as long as food production remains in 
the hands of fewer than 40,000 commercial farmers and four major 
supermarket chains.

We need local food production and local food markets supplied by 
small-scale farmers who can raise animals and crops in ways that use 
traditional knowledge and preserve the soil. It must include the 
thousands of farmworkers still living on commercial farms.

This is why we need land redistribution. Many farmworkers face eviction 
– they need security of tenure. Two million small-scale farmers need 
land and support far more than the new layer of black commercial farmers 
who do nothing to break the hold of industrial agriculture.

The unemployed movements are demanding a basic income grant. Government 
says all it can afford is a R350 per month disaster-related grant 
lasting for six months – enough for an extra loaf of bread a day and 
nothing more. We need a grant ten times that amount – as close as 
possible to the national minimum wage.

We also need jobs relating to climate change. Jobs that can help stop 
global warming. Jobs in the renewable energy and transport sectors. Jobs 
that involve rehabilitating land damaged by mining. We have begun to see 
what climate change means. The long droughts, the storms, the floods 
across southern Africa. And much worse is to come.

Covid-19 has taught us what happens if you ignore the warnings of the 
scientists. It has taught us to act first, before the worst comes to 
pass. It has taught us that environmental disasters will produce 
economic disasters. That we must act together, all over the world, or we 
will die separately. And it has again taught us what we already know – 
it is the poor countries and the poorest in them who suffer the most.

We have long supported the campaign for One Million Climate Jobs. That 
is why we call for a Just Transition to a Green New Deal. These jobs 
must include building enough solar and wind farms to meet our energy 
needs. We must have jobs manufacturing wind turbines and solar arrays in 
South Africa. Otherwise we will only have jobs monitoring and cleaning 
wind farms and solar panels. This will need radical changes to our trade 

Workers in fossil fuel industries fear that green energy will cost them 
their jobs. It won’t – not if the transition is publicly driven, phased 
in and managed in all aspects of the shift. We must be absolutely clear 
what a ‘just transition’ means. Anyone who loses a job in the transition 
will have a decent, permanent government job in the Green New Deal, or a 
lifetime grant based on their current pay, for those unable to take up 
suitable alternate jobs.

Covid-19 was not caused by climate change. But it is a small taste of 
what will come if humanity does not stop climate change.

Perhaps a million jobs will be provided in renewable energy, transport 
and other climate-related work. Perhaps two million will be created to 
meet other needs. We can debate this. We hope to bring together working 
groups from every sector of society. These groups will draw up plans for 
what jobs the three million workers could do. And for what kind of a 
society we want.

We have done this before in South Africa, assembling alternative plans 
and economic visions of a nation of equals. This is what we fought the 
freedom struggle for. We come from a long tradition.

But this is not an alternative economic vision we’d like to see realised 
some day. We are proposing a fight for three million new public sector 
jobs now. We want government to provide those jobs, or be replaced by a 
government that can and will do it. The measure of our success will not 
be words, or promises, or come from members of this or that party. The 
measure will come when three million people are doing those jobs.

We are now trapped in a minerals, energy and finance-driven economy 
focused on export. It’s this economy that built apartheid. It made the 
great mining houses rich and created many millionaires. This economy is 
now declining at increasing speed. The mining houses grow ever more 
desperate for foreign investment to survive. The government grows ever 
more focused on finding foreign investment and currency. That money can, 
and does, pour out again, leaving us in a financial panic with mounting 
debt and fewer jobs. It’s a bankrupted strategy.

We remain, as we have been for more than a century, the playthings and a 
source of value for the financial empires of Europe and North America, 
and now China too.

We cannot stop this decline without equality in South Africa. We can 
only move away from dependence on foreign exchange if our working people 
have enough income to buy what we make. We need a steel industry again, 
to produce the steel that will be needed for housing and other vital 
infrastructure – for wind turbines and a new electricity grid. We need 
the long-promised but never delivered integrated public transport system 
providing cheap, convenient, regular and safe mobility for everyone. We 
need a renewables industry to kickstart many other industries. We need 
plants making electric vehicles of every kind, that can run on 
electricity from renewable sources.

If there is anything that the Covid-19 lockdown has taught us, it is 
that we can change the way we work. We can work remotely. We don’t need 
our cars that much. We don’t really need the fossil fuels that our cars 
burn. We don’t need planes and trains all that much. What we do need is 
greater information and communication technology infrastructure. We need 
state-owned ICT that can provide free internet and cost-effective remote 
communication to our people. We need free education programmes on the 
internet. We need webinars that can teach us and our children without 
putting a burden on the planet.

In short, we need a new green industrial sector.

    We cannot solve our suffering in South Africa on our own. Were we to
    confront the power of global capital alone, we would be helpless.
    But the discussions we will have in South Africa will now be had in
    every country in the world.

And we need to think of not rescuing airlines so that foreign tourists 
can visit. We need to ask instead: When can people from Khayelitsha swim 
in the ocean, walk in the mountains, and stand in awe of our wildlife?

How can we pay for this? South Africa is not a poor country. It is a 
rich country full of poor people. We have resources on a global scale. 
We also have obscenely rich people who care nothing for the majority of 
their fellow citizens.

Many economists say that we cannot afford three million new jobs. We 
can. All we need to do is tax the incomes and wealth of the rich. Yes, 
the details of economic and tax policies are more complicated than that. 
But they are also simple. We will need dramatic changes to economic 
policies to give us the power to implement our financing plans.

Yet, it is understandable that our economists and ministers worry about 
foreign exchange and the rand. They are afraid of the power of the world 
economy, and that power is real, implacable and cruel. But there is 
another power in the world.

We cannot solve our suffering in South Africa on our own. Were we to 
confront the power of global capital alone, we would be helpless. But 
the discussions we will have in South Africa will now be had in every 
country in the world.

In every country there are people saying, “We are not going back to 
normal, because normal was the problem.” We need to meet human needs. We 
need jobs and to get the economy moving again. We need to save our 
planet. This means we will have to fight the corporate polluters, the 
financiers, the big banks. It probably means a fight with our 
government, which refuses to break with these elites who brought us to 
this point.

Fights for Green New Deals around the world can make us stronger in each 
country. In this, lies one of our greatest strengths – that the cry of 
the excluded is the cry of the majority of humanity. *DM*

/This piece is published in the name of the Cry of the Xcluded. The 
following have pinned their names to it:/

  * /Zwelinzima Vavi – SAFTU/
  * /Joseph Mathunjwa – AMCU/
  * /Nonhle Mbuthuma – Amadiba Crisis Committee/
  * /Sbu Zikodi – Abahlali baseMjondolo/
  * /Matthew Hlabane – Southern Africa Green Revolutionary Council (SAGRC)/
  * /Pinky Langa – SAGRC/
  * /Ayanda Kota – Unemployed People’s Movement /
  * /Khokhoma Motsi – Botshabelo Unemployed Movement


  South Africa: Be Aware and Beware of The Rise of the Securocrats

          By Daily Maverick• 13 May 2020

    Giving police, the representatives of the executive arm of state,
    the power to make decisions on details of people’s lives is not in
    keeping with a constitutional democracy.

Government’s Covid-19 hard lockdown decisions meant a national curfew 
and requiring police permits to move house are now part of South 
Africa’s constitutional democracy.

It’s a replay of the securocrats’ push in the first regulations for 
wholesale indemnity for security services, a measure that’s not 
permissible even in the State of Emergency, according to the Constitution.

Then, the constitutionalists in Cabinet ensured the blatantly unlawful 
indemnity was deleted from the hard Covid-19 State of Disaster lockdown 

Now those constitutionalists appear to have fallen silent.

Silent about the curfew that was not deemed necessary at Level 5, but 
now will remain in place even in lockdown Level 1. And silent about the 
moving house police permit – the first such police-dependent permission, 
as all other permissions, like attending funerals or moving children 
between parents living separately, are, quite correctly in a 
constitutional democracy, in the domain of magistrates.

Giving police, the representatives of the executive arm of state, the 
power to make decisions on details of people’s lives is not in keeping 
with a constitutional democracy.

It follows the turn to lawmaking by the stroke of ministerial pens – 
without public consultation, without the involvement of legislators.

Much of the Covid-19 hard lockdown government decision-making is 
informed by NatJoints, or the National Joint Operational and 
Intelligence Structure that brings together the SAPS, SA National 
Defence Force (SANDF) and State Security. Established by a Cabinet memo 
well over a decade ago without basis in legislation, it’s virtually 
impervious to oversight or accountability.

NatJoints helped author the first set of Covid-19 lockdown regulations, 
including the security services’ indemnity, and it is on public record 
from presentations to Parliament that NatJoints continues to daily 
monitor the lockdown and draft plans for the National Command Council, 
whose decisions NatJoints then “operationalises”, as the lingo of the 
police briefing went.

And even if other national government departments may be involved – and 
consultations with provincial and local government leaders and 
opposition leaders unfolded – the police, military and spooks have a 
heightened role in government decision-making. Particularly as at one 
stage government decision-making seemed to sidestep Cabinet in favour of 
the Covid-19 National Command Council.

The temptation is to shrug this off as what’s often called “middle-class 
problems”. But it’s not that. It talks directly to the shaping of South 
Africa’s constitutional democracy going forward, far beyond any Covid-19 

Because, let’s be blunt, those who find themselves at the sharp point of 
bureaucrats’ officious caprices or of police and soldiers’ brutality are 
the hungry, and the working poor, not the middle class.

The Covid-19 hard lockdown has shown how police and soldiers may say 
they uphold South Africa’s constitutional democracy, but in reality, 
fall short.

Sjambokking and forced exercises the police and soldiers have been 
publicly caught out on are unlawful and – even in a declared State of 
Disaster – unconstitutional. Never mind the assaults and shootings.

And while rights may be limited, not even a State of Emergency changes 
the constitutionally guaranteed rights to life, to dignity, and not to 
be tortured in any way or to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman 
and degrading way.

And it must be re-emphasised that South Africa has declared a State of 
Disaster, which in law means /assistance to the public/– relief and 
mitigating the destructive effects of the disaster are central.

    If stamping of the authority of the state is a desired SAPS
    performance outcome it indicates a loss of legitimacy. Seeking to
    restore legitimacy by stamping the authority of the state is part of
    a mistaken belief that compliance equals legitimacy.

    It does not.

Some of it is in the language of /kragdadigheid/that is re-emerging, 
faster now in lockdown. Using terms like security or police *force*when 
the Constitution talks of security services. Or police talking of law 
and order and “stamping the authority of the state” rather than the 
Constitution’s safety and security.

Some of it is dangerous, disrespectful posturing.

“You’re not our clients. We are not the police. We take instructions 
from the commander-in-chief [President Cyril Ramaphosa],” SANDF Chief of 
Staff Lieutenant-General Lindile Yam told Parliament’s Joint Standing 
Committee of Defence on 22 April. His comments stand against Section 
198(d) of the Constitution that gives Parliament, alongside the national 
executive, authority over national security.

Yam also said “the state is an instrument of government to ensure law 
and order is enforced”, in a clear disjunct from the Constitution’s 
preamble that talks of laying “the foundation for a democratic and open 
society in which government is based on the will of the people and every 
citizen is equally protected by law…”.

Similarly disjointed is the SAPS talk of “stamping the authority of the 
state”, which runs through its 2020 annual performance plan and 
longer-term strategic plan.

Stamping the authority of the state is inherently a forceful act. It 
does not easily, if at all, tally with the principles of national 
security outlined in Section 198 of the Constitution that it must 
“reflect the resolve of South Africans, as individuals and as a nation, 
to live as equals, to live in peace and harmony, to be free from fear 
and want and to seek a better life”.

If stamping of the authority of the state is a desired SAPS performance 
outcome it indicates a loss of legitimacy. Seeking to restore legitimacy 
by stamping the authority of the state is part of a mistaken belief that 
compliance equals legitimacy.

It does not.

Democracy is messy. Throw into the mix South Africans being /tjatjarag/, 
and it’s even messier, while also full of potential. Then add the 
pressure of an aspirational Constitution that centres on dignity, a 
democratic open society based on social justice and human rights.

None of this is to the liking of those, who on the back of an inept 
public administration, are enamoured with shows of force and quick 
shortcuts and those who like linear, preferably top-down processes.

The Covid-19 State of Disaster seems to have bolstered those with a 
predilection for ministerial decree and edict away from the messy task 
of accountability and public consultations, but shored up by 
/kragdadige/security forces.

And so democratic South Africa ended up under a curfew, and with police 
having the power to determine whether it’s possible to move house within 
the month time-frame set by ministerial decree.

How much more space and powers securocrats are allowed to get – in 
Cabinet, or in society across /dorpies/, villages or cities – will 
ultimately determine the future of our constitutional democracy.

South Africa: Be Aware and Beware of The Rise of the Securocrats. *DM*


  SA’s testing strategy for Covid-19 is not practical, say top scientists

14 May 2020 - 00:15 TAMAR KAHN
Health workers hard at work in Stjwetla in Alexandra, Johannesburg, 
testing people in the area where a man tested positive for coronavirus 
and did not isolate himself. Picture: THULANI MBELE 

Health workers hard at work in Stjwetla in Alexandra, Johannesburg, 
testing people in the area where a man tested positive for coronavirus 
and did not isolate himself. Picture: THULANI MBELE

Two leading scientists advising the government on Covid-19 have called 
for a change in its testing strategy, arguing the extensive delays at 
the state laboratory mean community screening and testing is no longer 
appropriate in high prevalence areas.

Shabir Madhi and Marc Mendelson are instead proposing that SA’s limited 
tests and laboratory resources be conserved for patients who are 
hospitalised, health-care workers, and people living in old-age homes.

Madhi is head of the Medical Research Council’s respiratory and 
meningeal pathogens unit and chairs the government’s Covid-19 advisory 
committees on public health. Mendelson is head of infectious diseases at 
the University of Cape Town and chairs the advisory committee on clinicians.

Last week the Western Cape health department said it had been forced to 
turn to private laboratories because the National Health Laboratory 
Service (NHLS) could not cope with demand and was taking up to a week to 
provide test results.

Long turn-around times for test results hamper the management of 
critically ill patients in hospital, and hobble attempts to trace 
contacts and contain the disease.

There is a backlog of 11,000 tests at the NHLS laboratory in Green 
Point, according to Western Cape spokesperson Bianca Capazorio. Business 
Day understands there are similar backlogs in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Western Cape has the largest reported number of Covid-19 cases in SA, 
and by Tuesday had a little more than 6,760 of the national tally of 
12,074. The densely populated city of Cape Town has been hit hard, but 
so too have other metros such eThekwini and Buffalo City.

“The inability of community screening to achieve its goal due to the 
prolonged testing turnaround time leaves us with a broken system in high 
prevalence areas such as the Cape Town metro and other predominately 
metro areas of the country.

“We believe wholesale change is needed,” wrote Madhi and Mendelson in an 
editorial in the latest edition of the SA Medical Journal.

In high prevalence areas, it is no longer practical to track down and 
test every contact of an infected person, nor will doing so influence 
the trajectory of the epidemic because it is past the point of 
containment, they wrote.

They propose that community health workers continue screening but stop 
referring people who are not critically ill for laboratory testing. 
Those tests, which detect the presence of the Sars-Cov-2 virus, should 
be reserved for the people for whom a result would make a significant 
difference, such as healthcare workers and their close contacts, they said.

Capazorio said the Western Cape was testing as strategically as 
possible, given the NHLS backlogs, with a focus on healthcare workers 
and vulnerable groups, particularly in “hotspot” areas. It did not 
intend to change its strategy at this stage, she said.

“Testing is a key component of any government's approach to fighting 
Covid-19, and it is critical that the backlogs and shortages are sorted 
out as quickly as possible. It is for this reason that we have raised 
this issue at the highest level,” she said. Western Cape premier Alan 
Winde wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa flagging the problems at the 
NHLS last week.

/kahnt at businesslive.co.za <mailto:kahnt at businesslive.co.za>/


  City removes occupiers from land earmarked for housing

13 May 2020 By Buziwe Nocuze <https://www.groundup.org.za/author/164/>

    “Where are we supposed to get the money to pay rent?”


Some residents from Nyakathisa informal settlements in Khayelitsha, Cape 
Town attempted to occupy land next to the settlement but were stopped by 
the City’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit at the weekend. Photo: Buziwe Nocuze

“Where are we supposed to get the money to pay rent? The only solution 
we had was to invade this space,” says Chuma Funda from Nyakathisa 
informal settlement in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

The 38-year-old was among a group of residents whose attempt to occupy 
land next to the settlement was stopped by the City’s Anti-Land Invasion 
Unit at the weekend.

Funda says some of the people began building homes on the land had been 
chased away by their landlords because they could no longer afford to 
pay rent.

“All we want is for the City to bring back our material. Most of us are 
not working. Taking our material is evil because we don’t have money to 
buy more,” she says.

Another resident Mongezi Funda says: “Our belongings were damaged. How 
are we supposed to get money to buy other things because the lockdown is 
making things difficult for all of us. They must bring back our material.”

Community leader, Siyanda Nodada says most families living in Nyakathisa 
have been there for more than ten years. They were promised that the 
vacant space would be used to build them houses, she says. “We decided 
to use the open space because we don’t have money to rent and we have 
been waiting to get houses for too long. The councillor promised us that 
by 2020 we will be staying in our houses.”

“We were told that our councillor sold us out and contacted the City 
informing them about what we were doing. That alone shows that he lied 
to us about getting houses soon,” says Nodada.

Ward councillor Zwelijikile Simbeku confirmed that he had informed the 
City about the occupation as the land has been earmarked to build houses 
for backyarders from the area.

“It is my duty to report such things. If I had let them build their 
shacks, what was going to happen to the backyarders who know the space 
is reserved to build their houses?”

Simbeku said he would accompany community leaders to speak to the 
landlords where residents are unable to pay rent during the lockdown.

Mayco Member for Human Settlements, Malusi Booi said the City’s 
Anti-Land invasion Unit only removed unoccupied and incomplete 
structures in line with the law and based on advice from legal 
professionals. “The City will continue to remove unoccupied and illegal 
structures to prevent the illegal occupation of land. When land is 
invaded or when attempts are made to occupy land, we move backward 
rather than forward,” he said.

“This is especially important in light of the enormous increase in land 
invasions across the metro over the past months. Numerous newly 
established communities are demanding services but currently the City is 
unable to cater for these unplanned settlements as existing recognised 
informal settlements are prioritised based on available resources,” said 


  Applicants for grants sleep outside SASSA offices

12 May 2020 By Buziwe Nocuze <https://www.groundup.org.za/author/164/>

    “We do not have any other choice but to wait”

Photo of queue of people 

Applicants for social grants queued outside the SASSA offices in 
Khayelitsha on Monday. Some had spent the night there. Photo: Buziwe Nocuze

On Sunday night, residents of Khayelitsha in Cape Town slept outside the 
offices of the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) which were reopened on 
Monday after a six-week closure.

All those who spent the night on the pavement were assisted and given 
appointments for Friday, said SASSA spokesperson Shivan Wahab.

Nokwanela Vamela, 66, was there because his pension payments had stopped 
and he wanted to know why. “It is better to sleep here than coming in 
the morning. Everyone has been waiting for the offices to open and we 
have a lot of problems’, said Vamela. He said people had brought 
blankets and mattresses to prepare for the cold night on the concrete. 
“We slept on the concrete so that we get assisted first when they open 
the offices.”

Nosibusiso Mdlankomo came to find out why her child’s grant had no been 
paid last month. She has been depending on her neighbours for help. “I 
can’t keep on asking food from other people because everyone is 
struggling, the lockdown has affected everyone, that’s why I decided to 
come and sleep here thinking that I will get in first”.

“But the queue is long, I don’t know if I am going to get a chance to 
get in,” said Mdlankomo.

Nomalungisa Duka said she was there to submit documents from the doctor 
confirming her disability.

Lindekile Mbita spent the night outside thinking that he would get 
assisted first. “But now it is 12:30, and I haven’t been assisted. This 
is frustrating, but we do not have any other choice but to wait”.

The offices had been closed since 26 March. Wahab said in line with the 
directive on the easing of Lockdown Regulations to Level 4, a phased-in 
approach to opening the office had been adopted and staff were working 
on a rotational basis.

Wahab said SASSA was dealing with applications for different grants on 
different days to avoid a high influx of clients at any contact point. 
“Monday and Tuesdays will be Old Age Grant applications, Wednesday Child 
Support Grant, and on Friday it will be Disability Grant applications on 
an appointment basis”.

In cases where a temporary disability grant is suspended, Wahab said the 
grant would be reinstated and paid till October 2020. “The same applies 
to Care Dependency and Foster Child Grants that are due to lapse during 
the lockdown. The reinstated social grants will be paid before the end 
of May 2020.”

“Clients who slept over outside the Khayelitsha Local Office were all 
assisted and provided with appointments for Friday, 15 May 2020. These 
clients were advised on the peril of sleeping over at any contact point 
for services,” said Wahab.


  Hundreds of social grant applicants turned away in East London

13 May 2020 By Johnnie Isaac <https://www.groundup.org.za/author/460/>

    Scuffles break out as desperate people try to get to the front of
    the queue


Only mothers with newborn babies were served at the SASSA offices in 
East London on Wednesday. Hundreds of other applicants for grants were 
turned away Photo: Johnnie Isaac

Hundreds of applicants for social grants were turned away from South 
African Social Security Agency (SASSA) offices in East London on Wednesday.

Desperate applicants risked Covid-19 infection by not observing social 
distancing and pushing to be as close as possible to the front of the 
queue. The offices opened this week after being closed for the early 
phase of the lockdown.

Some applicants said they had arrived as early as 2am but had found 
people already waiting.

When SASSA staff arrived and tried to organise the applicants into 
queues and encourage social distancing, there were scuffles.

Applicants said that after GroundUp left, police had been called in and 
had arrived with army back-up to rearrange queues and enforce distancing.

The crowd was addressed by SASSA employees who told them that only 
babies born this year would be registered for social grants. Fifty 
mothers of newborn babies were taken in to register, and other mothers 
of newborn babies were given tickets for later appointments.

Applicants who had come for other reasons were turned away and told by 
SASSA officials to use the call centre and WhatsApp number.

Nontsikelelo Nocanda told GroundUp it would be impossible for SASSA to 
register all applicants with the current system.

“We were hoping that when SASSA reopened its offices they would do what 
they used to do previously and deploy officials to conduct applications 
in the wards of the applicants, because since Covid-19 lockdown there 
has been an increase of people who need SASSA services,” said Nocanda.

Another disappointed applicant, Celia Jongiwe, said she had been trying 
to register her sister’s child after she was told that someone else had 
been receiving a grant in the child’s name in Cape Town. “I was told to 
bring police affidavits and a letter from the social workers but now I’m 
being turned away. I have nothing and have been trying to do this before 
we were locked down,” said Jongiwe.

Yolanda Guwe, mother of a three-month-old baby, said she had been given 
a ticket to return on Thursday. “I feel much better because I won’t be 
queuing for nothing.”

SASSA Eastern Cape Spokesperson Luzuko Qina said the agency was using 
only one third of its workforce due to lockdown restrictions.

He said SASSA local offices would provide services to “a limited number” 
of pension applicants on Mondays and Tuesdays, and to Child Support and 
Foster Care grant applicants on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“On Fridays we serve those whom we were not able to serve on the days 


        Coronavirus #Lockdown agony

  Hunger and desperation rip through the Karoo

By Estelle Ellis• 13 May 2020

    As lockdown hunger stalks the Karoo, humanitarian teams encounter
    heartbreaking stories.

A young mom, carrying her baby on her back and holding her little boy by 
the hand, walked 55km from Aberdeen to Graaff-Reinet to sell her clothes 
so she could buy food. The woman and her children were found on the side 
of the road by a team from Gift of the Givers as the trio were looking 
for a sheltered place to sleep for the night after their effort was 

“We were on our way home from delivering food when we saw them,”Gift of 
the Givers <https://giftofthegivers.org/>’ Graaff-Reinet team leader, 
Corene Conradie, said.

“They were already soaking wet. She said they were coming from 
Graaff-Reinet and they were going home. She had walked there with them. 
She was selling clothes to get money for food but the people didn’t pay 
her. She was there without anything. They were walking the 55km back home.

Display Adverts

“We gave her everything we could: food, clothes, blankets,” Conradie 
said. “We gave them a lift.”

Before lockdown regulations halted work in the hospitality industry and 
the casual labour and domestic work markets, many Karoo residents were 
already battling poverty. The lockdown made the situation desperate.

Lockdown was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa after he declared 
the outbreak of coronavirus infections in the country to be a National 
Disaster. As part of the intervention, social grants were temporarily 
increased by a few hundred rand a month and a special temporary grant 
for unemployed people, of R350, was introduced. Payment of the R350 
grant will only start in mid-May.

Conradie said she was constantly heartbroken by the levels of 
desperation that they were encountering during their humanitarian relief 

“The other day I was talking to a woman who came for a food parcel. She 
was telling me how she was leaving her children alone every day to go to 
the tip. It is the only place where they can still find food. She 
couldn’t bear leaving the children without food any longer.

“Another lady, who was from Somalia, said she had to close her shop 
because of lockdown. On that day they had not eaten for three days. She 
said every morning she and the kids must decide when they are eating on 
the day because they only have enough for one meal. There is no help for 

“There are a lot of domestic workers, casual workers, waitresses and 
people who worked in guesthouses who now have no money left. Guesthouse 
owners have exhausted their savings trying to look after their staff.

Display Adverts

“This morning I had a call from a school for help. The principal said 
that parents are overwhelming him with requests for food.

“Every day we are receiving calls for help from as far as East London. 
Most people ask for a bread or just for R20 so they can buy bread. My 
heart is constantly breaking,” she said.

“This morning I have put in another order for R32,000 in food from Gift 
of the Givers. It is a lot for us, but people need to eat.”

Conradie said she is often moved to tears when they deliver food to 
eight soup kitchens in the Graaff-Reinet area.

“Children will wait all morning with their bowls and when they see the 
bakkie they run. Even old people, they try to run with their bowl to 
make it to the line. We have taken their addresses now. We said to the 
aunties that they mustn’t run. I think how I will feel if it was my mom 
or my grandmother. I tell them we will bring food to their house. It 
breaks something in you when you see an old person grab their bowl and 
run for a bakkie.”

Eldrige Ruiters, a councillor in Aberdeen, said there are places of 
extreme poverty in the Karoo, a region that has largely been overlooked 
by government’s food response to the pandemic.

“There are a few stakeholders bringing relief food parcels, and the 
extra grant money also helped a bit. But there is still a great need 
among households whose income is between nought to R500 per month,” he 

Display Adverts

“The secrecy around food parcels beneficiaries and the strict 
regulations of private persons and organisations, who are trying to 
help, doesn’t assist the situation.

“There are many areas that are being overlooked. These include Rietbron, 
Nieu-Bethesda and Klipplaat.

“I think about 30% of the people in the Karoo no longer know where their 
next meal will come from. Further restrictions on casual and domestic 
work, the hunting season and fence maintenance teams, who mostly work on 
contract, can see this percentage increase to 45%,” he said.

“Many of these people work but they are not registered with the 
Unemployment Insurance Fund.”

Ruiters said it was particularly worrying that so many children were 
battling to access food.

Riana van der Ahee from Vuyani Safe Haven in Graaff-Reinet said they 
were part of an initiative to distribute 13 tons of food in the town and 
to surrounding towns.

“We have often received food for the children’s home from theKFC Add 
Hope <https://order.kfc.co.za/addhope>Fund. They phoned to ask if they 
can help,” she said.

Display Adverts

She said a Covid-19 relief committee run by civil society, local 
government, provincial government and the churches had been established 
to coordinate relief efforts in Graaff-Reinet.

“The food was dropped off late one night and we packed food parcels with 
maize, porridge, tinned food and oil. It is enough food for a week for a 
family of four,” she said.

“We know the food doesn’t go far but we have discovered that the two 
weeks before grants are paid are when families are struggling the most. 
We are hoping that with the grant increases this situation will improve 
a little,” she said.

“Almost everywhere in this town and other towns there are informal 
workers. They will come sweep for you or help out for a little extra 
money. With lockdown, none of them could work.”

She said she was impressed by cooperation from government departments, 
the police and civil society to distribute food.

“We have social workers who go into the homes first to check if people 
really need a food parcel or if they are going to sell it,” she said.

She said as social workers moved through the communities they found 
several children who had been badly neglected and these children were 

“This whole operation just showed us where extreme need existed all 
along,” she said.

“It really lifted my spirits to see how people were working with each 
other. One guy, a professional hunter, came to us and said he wasn’t 
able to work [and asked] if he can help with food delivery. You could 
see that he developed a deep caring spirit for this community.

“It was also heartening to see that people were not embarrassed to come 
and ask for help.

“There is a lot of love here.” *DM/MC*


  Prison riot in Lusikisiki

12 May 2020 By Sibahle Siqathule <https://www.groundup.org.za/author/416/>

    Awaiting trial inmates say their “rights are grossly violated” by
    the Covid-19 lockdown regulations


According to an official at Lusikisiki Correctional Centre, who wished 
to stay anonymous, a riot broke out on Thursday when awaiting trial 
prisoners demanded to be taken to court. Photo: Sibahle Siqathule

According to an official at Lusikisiki Correctional Centre, who wished 
to stay anonymous, a riot broke out on Thursday when awaiting trial 
prisoners demanded to be taken to court.

The official told GroundUp that 20 inmates were acting “aggressively” 
and started throwing mattresses out of their cells.

The official said the situation at the prison has been tense. A 
handwritten letter, listing 24 inmates and addressed to the Lusikisiki 
Correctional Centre, said that on 20 and 21 April, awaiting trial 
inmates had engaged in a “hunger strike”.

In the letter they wrote that their “rights are grossly violated” by the 
lockdown measures, which have seen prison visits prohibited and 
prisoners not being sent to court on their court dates. They also fear 
contracting Covid-19 “in this dirty jail” from the wardens.

They alleged that wardens took away their 20-litre water containers, 
their only source of drinking water, in order to break the “hunger strike”.

GroundUp spoke to Department of Correctional Services spokesperson 
Singabakho Nxumalo on 5 May, before the Thursday incident. He confirmed 
that the department was aware of the tensions at Lusikisiki Correctional 

“A total of 48 remand detainees did not take their meals on 20 April 
2020, but they took breakfast on 21 April 2020. As a result, such cannot 
be described as a hunger strike.

“Inmates were not forced to suspend hunger strike, but were engaged and 
they understood that their demands were beyond what Correctional 
Services could do,” said Nxumalo.

“Only urgent matters are being enrolled by courts. It was explained to 
them [prisoners] that they are remanded for later dates due to lockdown 
due to Covid-19,” said Nxumalo.

Nxumalo tried to allay the fears of both inmates and prison officials, 
saying procedures were in place to safeguard everyone.

“Standard Operating Procedures on Covid-19 are in place and our 
officials fully understand what is expected of them. Hence inmates are 
also engaged in order to heighten their understanding of Covid-19,” said 

Two days after these assurances there was a riot. GroundUp was unable to 
get official confirmation from the facility of the incident at the time 
of publication.


  “One day I will get my own food parcel”

12 May 2020 By Thamsanqa Mbovane <https://www.groundup.org.za/author/361/>

    Hungry KwaNobuhle residents wait all night for food

For the past three weeks, dozens of residents of KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage, 
have been sleeping next to Solomon Mahlangu High School, hoping to be 
the first people in the queue for food parcels the next day.

The residents, from wards 42 to 47, are waiting for food parcels from 
Vukuzakhe Project, a non-profit organisation from the township. As part 
of Covid-19 relief, Vukuzakhe is distributing 1,118 food parcels 
supplied by Food Forward, an organisation which collects surplus food 
from the consumer goods supply chain and distributes it to community 
organisations that serve the poor.

Vukuzakhe member Nonkosinathi Buzani told GroundUp: “People keep 
sleeping next to the school and make fires, sit on chairs and talk the 
whole night, so that they get the free food the next day.”

“But our neighbours are complaining. We tell these people to go… but 
they don’t want to sleep at home, ” she said.

Her organisation of nine people used to keep the fresh food on the 
school premises, and hand it out to people in queues. But when large 
numbers of people started coming and social distancing rules were 
difficult to apply, Vukuzakhe decided to distribute the food parcels 

“But people kept sleeping next to the fence of Solomon Mahlangu High,” 
said Buzani.

“When we address them, telling them that we no longer distribute food, 
people won’t listen. They hurl insults at us, saying we want to eat all 
the food parcels by ourselves.”

“They also say we should not worry about them sleeping in the cold and 
that our job is to give them food, for free, and we should mind our own 

KwaNobuhle residents queuing for food parcels. Photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

KwaNobuhle resident Mbuzeli Bam, 29, said: “I am unemployed and I will 
keep sleeping next to the school because I did not get a food parcel 
yet. People wake up and queue before I do…and I see some getting food 
every day.”

“One day I will get my own food parcel,” he said.

Another resident, Simphiwe Dondashe, said: “Food is what we all need and 
we can’t help but to be near where it is … at the school. We see it and 
we want it, and we will get it.”

Buzani appealed to residents to adhere to lockdown regulations by 
staying at home.


        Coronavirus Op-Ed

  We all lose when we exclude refugees, asylum seekers and migrants

By Adam Andani• 14 May 2020

A group of refugees living on the pavement near the Cape Town Central 
police station.( Photo: Nardus Engelbrecht / Gallo Images) Less

    As Covid-19 diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics become available,
    we must ensure equal, and affordable access for not only citizens,
    but for everyone in South Africa, including refugees, asylum seekers
    and migrants (irrespective of legal status and documentation).

One hard truth about Covid-19 is that it knows no borders. For this 
reason, government’s approach to tackling the pandemic must be 
all-inclusive and non-discriminatory, especially in the context of 
deepening unemployment, cyclical poverty as well as the racial and 
economic inequalities that exist in our society.

Besides this moral obligation, South Africa has a legal mandate under 
Section27 of the Constitution to enforce equal access to healthcare 
services for all. Moreover, the ratification 
the United Nations Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 
(ICESCR) on 12 October 2018 implies that all migrants, refugees and 
asylum seekers (documented and undocumented), shall be ensured their 
rights in full.

As a host country, the government has a duty to provide access to 
essential health and social protection services for refugees, asylum 
seekers and migrants (and their children), through the current Covid-19 
response and economic recovery programmes.

In our quest to contain the virus and combat the associated 
socio-economic impacts, particularly on vulnerable communities, we 
should not forget that refugees, asylum seekers and migrants living in 
South African host communities and shelters (camps) face a heightened 
It is difficult to practice physical distancing, for example, when you 
live in a crowded refugee camp, prison, or a detention centre. An 
outbreak of any respiratory disease, like the current Covid-19 pandemic, 
could gain a foothold in overcrowded confines and unsafe conditions that 
epitomise many informal settlements in which the majority of the poor, 
including migrants, reside.

The vulnerability of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants is further 
exacerbated by existing socio-cultural, economic, political and legal 
barriers <https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/259486>. These are 
characterised by limited access to (and awareness of their rights), 
healthcare and preventative services such as handwashing and sanitation 

In addition, water scarcity, especially in informal settlements, 
continues to be a growing concern, making people in these sites more 
prone to exposure and less resilient to fight off the virus. Even in 
instances where some migrant groups have access to healthcare services, 
they tend to avoid them due to fear of deportation as well as xenophobic 
and discriminatory attitudes in host communities. Ample evidence 
suggests that social stigmatisation 
<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22000263>and anxieties generated by 
restrictive immigration policies undermine migrants’ access to health 
rights while minimising their sense of entitlement to such rights.

In his 21 April 2020 address to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa 
announced a massive social relief and economic support package of 
R500-billion (10% of GDP), to stabilise the economy and address the 
socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet his plan is not 
explicit on how it will address the needs of refugees, asylum seekers, 
and migrants.

Even though pandemic preparedness plans 
<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6039731/> across Africa 
are inadequate in addressing the complex needs of refugees, asylum 
seekers and migrants during pandemics, South Africa needs to adopt a 
holistic approach that prioritises the health needs of this population 
group in the current Covid-19 containment measures and economic stimulus 

If we limit access to essential Covid-19 services (testing, treatment 
and personal protective equipment), for refugees, asylum seekers and 
migrants, we do so at our peril. We run the risk of jeopardising our 
limited resources and the efforts that have been committed so far to 
flatten the curve of infections. This could lead to a new chain of 
infections in migrant communities after the lockdown is lifted as the 
virus will spread from shelters to host communities. *DM/MC*

**/Adam Andani/ /is a senior programme officer at the Open Society 
Foundation for South Africa. He writes in his personal capacity./



  Migrants excluded from government food aid

All around South Africa, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have 
mostly been left out of the government’s official response to the food 
crisis are going hungry.

    By: Jan Bornman <https://www.newframe.com/writer/jan-bornman/>
    @jwbornman_ <http://twitter.com/jwbornman_>
    Photographer: James Oatway
    @jamesoatway <http://instagram.com/jamesoatway>

13 May 2020

  * News <https://www.newframe.com/category/news/>

30 April 2020: Alice Munyanyiwa is visually impaired and the Covid-19 
lockdown has denied her the little money she usually earns begging on 
the streets of Johannesburg.

For Alice Munyanyiwa, a cup of tea has become a luxury she can barely 

When she travelled to South Africa from Zimbabwe at the behest of her 
father-in-law in May last year, the 25-year-old thought she would be 
able to build a better life. But she’s struggled to find work in 
Johannesburg because of a visual impairment.

Munyanyiwa rents a room in a derelict building in Doornfontein. There 
she found a community of other migrants, many of them also living with 
disabilities. Residents share one tap and the only toilets they have 
access to are public ones across the street that are locked at night. 
Recently, the electricity has been cut off at the building.

The residents relied on the little money they earned while begging on 
the streets of Johannesburg. But for the past seven weeks this community 
has seen the little income they earned dry up, making it nearly 
impossible to buy food. As the three-week hard lockdown turned into five 
weeks, Munyanyiwa and the other migrants were confined to their small, 
dark rooms.

Even as the lockdown eased into level four, opportunities to earn money 
through begging in Johannesburg did not return.

“We are struggling with food and clothes. Winter is coming, and we don’t 
have any clothes,” she says. “We are just going hungry and struggling. I 
still have some mielie meal, but we don’t get any nutritious food like 
fruit or veggies.”

    Related article:

  * <https://www.newframe.com/hunger-gnawing-at-the-edges-of-the-world/>
    Hunger gnawing at the edges of the world

John Zindandi, 38, is blind and has been living in the building since 
2010. He moved there after living in the Central Methodist Church in the 
Johannesburg CBD after the 2008 xenophobic attacks.

“I normally survive through begging. These days are tough, man. We’re 
not allowed to move around. It’s very tough. We don’t have anything, and 
we don’t have anybody helping us,” he says. “We are very hungry. In this 
building, we have over 50 people who are blind. We have nobody caring 
for us. We are just hearing that people are getting help in other places 
like Yeoville.”

Like Munyanyiwa, Zindandi says he has mostly been eating once a day.

30 April 2020: Zimbabwean John Zindandi is blind and lives in the same 
derelict building as Alice Munyanyiwa. The lockdown has prevented him 
from begging for money to buy food.

    *Excluding migrants*

Munyanyiwa and Zindandi are just two of the millions of people in South 
Africa who have seen their incomes all but disappear during the 
lockdown, making it harder to buy food. But, as migrants, they have been 
excluded from the government’s food relief programmes.

Munyanyiwa says she has no idea where to even apply for any relief and 
has been relying on the generosity of a few strangers who have helped her.

In a joint statement, the Centre for Human Rights at the University of 
Pretoria and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University 
expressed their concerns about the exclusion of migrants, refugees and 
asylum seekers in the government’s coronavirus relief schemes.

The legal centres said they were worried about the government’s 
insistence that applicants for food aid need ID numbers and that 
citizens are prioritised. “We reaffirm that this is not a time to 
exclude certain populations within society, neither is it a time to 
reinforce negative attitudes against non-nationals,” the statement says.

Tshepo Madlingozi, director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, 
says: “It is important that the government understands that this is not 
a time to encourage or perpetuate any form of intolerance. Neither will 
there ever be a time to do so. As such, the government, through the 
Department of Home Affairs, should explicitly give directions for the 
protection of asylum seekers in this period.”

    Related article:

  * <https://www.newframe.com/covid-19-just-the-latest-excuse-for-british-racism/>
    Covid-19 just the latest excuse for British racism

In a letter to the presidency and a number of government departments, 
Thifulufheli Sinthumule, the director of the Consortium for Refugees and 
Migrants in South Africa (Cormsa), says the pandemic and the lockdown 
has exposed historic inequality and levels of poverty in South Africa.

“Without doubt, the lockdown has impacted and disadvantaged all people 
living in South Africa, irrespective of one’s nationality or current 
documentation status in the country. One thing we know is that Covid-19 
does not discriminate and neither should the government’s response to 
alleviate and address its social and economic consequences,” Sinthumule 

The Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town warns that excluding documented and 
undocumented migrants from food relief may open them up to further 
exploitation and place them at risk of attempting to unlawfully cross 
the border to return to their countries of origin.

There have been reports of migrant communities nearing starvation 
elsewhere in South Africa. /Health-E News/ reported 
that about 600 Zimbabweans living near Louis Trichardt in Limpopo had 
run out of food because they were unable to earn a living.

Joseph Maposa, a representative of the Zimbabwean community, told 
/Health-E News/: “We are so many [Zimbabweans] here and most of us were 
surviving through part-time jobs such as being house maids, selling 
various items on the streets, running salons and barber shops, and 
construction work but due to the lockdown, which we also support, 
everything has stopped and most of us have run out of food.”

    Related article:

  * <https://www.newframe.com/episode-10-hunger-and-covid-19-brazils-bolsonaro-virus/>
    Episode 10: Hunger and Covid-19 | Brazil’s Bolsonaro virus

In Zeerust in the North West, Congolese Solidarity Campaign 
representative Shauri Jonathan Mwenemwitu says Congolese migrants and 
refugees in the small town are helpless as hunger sets in. “It is very 
hard. We have no income and no food. It is very hard. Now we are facing 
hunger, and we don’t have any help.”

Acting MEC for Social Development in Gauteng Panyaza Lesufi says 
the department is not discriminating against migrants, refugees and 
asylum seekers when it insists on people needing to be documented.

“Our approach is simple. Whoever is appropriately documented to be 
inside the country will get support, and if people are not documented to 
be in the country, it’s unfortunate. We will request them to deal with 
that aspect so that they can be in a queue. We are not discriminating,” 
he says.

In a speech on 29 April 2020, Minister of Social Development Lindiwe 
Zulu clarified the department’s stance, saying it would be 
“intensifying” its “hunger-targeting food and nutrition distribution 
programmes” but there was no mention of migrants in these programmes.

Zulu reiterated that refugees qualified for the special Covid-19 social 
relief distress grant, but would be required to be registered with home 

7 May 2020: Malawian Eliza Banda sits in the corridor outside her 
sixth-floor apartment in inner-city Johannesburg after being evicted.

Alana Potter, the director of research and advocacy at the 
Socio-Economic Rights Institute (Seri), says it is unlawful, 
discriminatory and inhumane to exclude migrants and undocumented 
migrants from food relief according to Section 27 (1) (b) of the 

“South Africa has a long history of using narrow qualifying criteria and 
onerous registration processes (eg housing lists and indigent 
registration) as a way to target social benefits,” she says.

“Now that we’re in a crisis, these well-worn methods are the very fault 
lines used to distribute food and other forms of relief. Indigent 
registration processes required for people to access free basic services 
and social grants are onerous, exclusionary and come at high social, 
financial and economic cost to the poor.”

    *Hunger and evictions*

Malawians Christoph Kenneth, 38, and his wife, Joyce, 29, have both seen 
their incomes disappear as they have been unable to go to work for 
nearly two months. Joyce, who usually works as a domestic worker, has 
been selling tomatoes in the corridor outside the room they rent in a 
building in Hillbrow.

She says it’s become increasingly difficult for the family to buy food 
and other essentials including nappies for their six-month-old son, Vincent.

“It’s not been easy. It’s been very hard. There are many people selling 
tomatoes or other vegetables in the building so I’m not making a lot of 
money,” she says.

Kenneth adds: “Life now is very hard. If I get R5, I will try and buy 
two nappies. We are just trying to manage.”

5 May 2020: Malawians Christoph and Joyce Kenneth live in a small 
apartment in Joburg’s inner city with their baby, Vincent. The lockdown 
has affected both their livelihoods.

He says the family went from having three meals every day that included 
tea, sugar and fresh vegetables, to mostly surviving on one meal of 
mainly pap. “It’s very stressful. I’m lying at night thinking how I’m 
going to feed my baby, what I’m going to eat. It is very stressful. You 
can’t guarantee anything. We are just hoping this disease can come under 
control. We are hoping to do some work soon because I don’t know how I’m 
going to survive,” he says.

Kenneth says they used to send money back home to family in Malawi, but 
that’s mostly stopped. They have already spent the little savings the 
family had on food. “They are saying everyone, even those who are 
undocumented [can register for food aid]. I want to register but I don’t 
know where to go or how to do it. If someone can just tell us,” he says.

While Kenneth and his wife have been lucky to negotiate rent payments 
with their landlord, other migrants have been forced out of their homes 
despite a nationwide moratorium on evictions.

    Related article:

  * <https://www.newframe.com/lockdown-means-eviction-for-many-backyard-dwellers/>
    Lockdown means ‘eviction’ for many back-yard dwellers

Last week, Mohammed Foster, 26, and his wife, Jane Afia, 19, who is 
eight-months pregnant, were evicted from their apartment in the 
Johannesburg CBD along with the other people in the apartment.

“There is nowhere for us to go. We can’t find a new place now in 
lockdown. Where are we going to sleep? My wife is pregnant. I don’t know 
what to do,” Foster says. “We can’t sleep outside. Maybe we will go to 
the police station and find a place to sleep there. This is a big 
problem. I am very stressed. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

The young family eventually found a place to sleep with friends in 
Germiston, east of Johannesburg, while the other people who shared the 
apartment had to make their own arrangements.

The caretaker of the building, who didn’t want to give his name, says 
the owners of the building told him to evict Foster and the other people 
in the apartment after they failed to pay rent. He concedes it “wasn’t 
fair or right” but insists that Foster and the other people who shared 
that apartment were warned.


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.openspaceforum.net/pipermail/wsm-discuss/attachments/20200514/70775b97/attachment.htm>

More information about the WSM-Discuss mailing list