Coronavirus #Lockdown

The daily struggles in Limpopo villages — Photo Essay

The daily struggles in Limpopo villages — Photo Essay
John Mohlape sells sanitiser along the busy R37 road in Chuenespoort, Limpopo before the country went into Covid-19 lockdown on 26 March. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba)

What’s happening in South Africa’s remote regions during the lockdown?

People in Limpopo’s rural areas have generally stayed home in line with the regulations of the lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

However, the daily struggle for clean drinking water, looking after livestock and collecting firewood leaves many residents with no choice but to venture outside their homes. 

Yet, although schools are closed, the streets are empty as children stay home, as are the taverns where people gather to socialise and drink. 

The churches, too, are closed and the streets of most villages are generally silent and somewhat eerie. MC

A church in Ramogale, a village east of Polokwane in Limpopo stands empty on a Thursday afternoon as worshippers stayed away from weekly prayers to observe the Covid-19 lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

A popular tavern in Maja village in Limpopo remains shut during the Covid-19 lockdown. Taverns are among the few recreational and meeting spaces for people living in rural Limpopo. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

A street where children normally play in large numbers in the village of GaThaba is nearly deserted as SA citizens in rural areas observe the lockdown. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

Youths get up close in a field in GaMothapo near Polokwane in Limpopo. Medical health experts have advised people to practise physical distancing to counter the spread of the Coronavirus — however, it seems this message has not reached everyone. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

A child waits to be served at a spaza shop in Ga-Mothapo near Polokwane, Limpopo province. Spaza shops remain the closest points where rural communities can buy daily provisions such as bread during the lockdown. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

A resident of GaMaja and her son carry buckets of water home after collecting it from a truck that arrives at the village once a week. Concern has been raised that many rural residents cannot adhere to the suggestion that they wash their hands regularly due to a shortage of water. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

Children watch as a truck delivers water in Koppermyn section, GaMaja in Limpopo province. Government has announced plans to deliver water to communities which don’t have access to running water during the Covid-19 lockdown. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

A youth walks past empty drums put down by residents of Koppermyn section in Maja village during the Covid-19 lockdown. A truck delivers water once a week to parts of the village which are not connected to the water supply. The water is rationed. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

This photo essay was produced by Mukurukura Media.


"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.