THE AFTERMATH

How you can help: Looting and Level 4 lockdown add fuel to the fire of need in South Africa

By Victoria O’Regan 21 July 2021

People in Centurion, Gauteng bring supplies on 19 July 2021 to help people in KwaZulu-Natal. The initiative was facilitated by Dare To Love in response to food shortages after looting and violence. (Photo: Gallo Images / Laird Forbes)

While the Covid-19 pandemic drags on, the level of need in South Africa continues to grow. From organisations that support business owners to NGOs that feed communities, there is no shortage of ways to make a difference. Here’s how you can help.

Victoria O’Regan

Prompted by a rise in Covid-19 infections amid the third wave, South Africa entered Level 4 lockdown on 27 June. The lockdown, coupled with inadequate government income-relief measures, has pummelled businesses in sectors that were already on fragile footing, and deepened hunger for many households.

The violence and destructive lawlessness which has unfolded in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal has only added fuel to the fire, worsening levels of food insecurity and unemployment in the country.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in South Africa, charities, NGOs and other organisations have been working tirelessly to assist those in need. Amid the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, crowdfunding campaigns and community feeding schemes and clean-up efforts have sprung up almost overnight.

Nearly 18 months into the pandemic, more South Africans are encouraged to give where they can, no matter how small the contribution is.

‘The crisis has simply grown’

“The need is growing exponentially,” said Badr Kazi, spokesperson for Gift of the Givers, South Africa’s largest disaster relief NGO.

“The Covid-19 pandemic economic crisis has now been aggravated by the political crisis in KwaZulu-Natal,” said Kazi.

“The crisis has simply grown.”

Amid the chaos, there was a brief period where Gift of the Givers was unable to deliver aid over safety concerns, said Kazi. However, the NGO soon “hit the ground running” and is now operating at maximum capacity.

The crisis in KwaZulu-Natal is beyond an NGO or civil society’s scope; the political crisis needs to be dealt with “from the top down,” said Kazi. The role of charities, NGOs and other non-profit organisations should be to fill in the gaps — it can’t be the other way around, he said.

“But what’s been encouraging for us as an NGO is that, in spite of all of these challenges, South Africans are still rallying around,” said Kazi. Out of the crisis in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng has grown a greater sense of “purpose and unity” among individuals and civil society organisations.

In the aftermath, many organisations, charities and local businesses have been arranging clean up operations and raising money for food packages, medical supplies and other essential items for the communities affected.

Rebuilt RSA has been organising clean-ups and delivering food to those in need. Those affected and those wanting to volunteer or donate have offered their services in person and online through the Rebuild RSA Facebook group and Instagram page.

The Durban-based organisation, WeFeed SA is calling for donations for food packages to feed communities suffering from food insecurity after the unrest in the province.

It costs R500 for a food hamper that feeds a family of four for 10 days.

Future Females has launched a Business Relief Fund to assist and support entrepreneurs and business owners who have been affected by the looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

 

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Where to donate:

  • Gift of the Givers is providing food, water and other aid to millions of South Africans all over the country. To contribute to their mission, donate here.
  • Gift of the Givers is providing food to communities and support to local businesses in KwaZulu-Natal following the unrest in the province. To contribute, donate here.
  • Donations can be made to Ladles of Love which is working with various shelters, non-profit organisations and community initiatives to distribute food and assist vulnerable people.
  • The non-profit organisation, LIV Village Durban, which provides residential care for orphaned and vulnerable children. Click here to see how you can donate.
  • Donations can be made to Rays of Hope, a non-profit organisation that has been working with the community of Alexandra for 30 years to distribute food and services to vulnerable people.
  • Johannesburg-based trader, Shumani Tshifhango started a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy last year, to raise funds to help reduce the impact of Covid-19 on townships and rural communities.
  • Cape Town Together CAN is a network made up of hundreds of community-organised relief efforts across the city. Visit their website to learn more about how you can get involved.
  • Donations can be made to the Haven Night Shelter, the Western Cape’s largest shelter network. Click here to see how you can donate.
  • Bloem Shelter in Bloemfontein is giving food, shelter and offering social support to the homeless. You can donate here. DM
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