Maverick Citizen

Food Justice


Relief for desperate families as your generous donations bring hope to poverty-stricken Lusikisiki

Relief for desperate families as your generous donations bring hope to poverty-stricken Lusikisiki
Nomanesi Gilo (51) carrying food parcels in Xurana Administration Area in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape onn 21 December, 2023. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)

There were scenes of overwhelming joy as SA Harvest and Daily Maverick’s food distribution programme kicked off on Thursday in Xurana Administrative Area in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape. The food distributed through this programme was paid for by the donations of Daily Maverick readers.

“I was starting to panic about Christmas,” a Lusikisiki grandmother looking after 10 grandchildren said on Thursday as she received a food parcel in that joint relief effort between SA Harvest and Daily Maverick.

Families who benefited from the food parcel drop are child-headed, those who are unemployed, and large families solely dependent on social grants and the R350 grant to survive.

Most recipients said the closure of school feeding schemes during the holidays is a huge crisis for them.

Read more in Daily Maverick: SA Harvest and Lusikisiki celebrate R1.4m in donations from Daily Maverick readers

Mamphumisa Nyosi carrying a bag of rice in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape on 21 December, 2023. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)

One of the residents, Busisiwe Blayi said since the school closed things are difficult at home.

“That school nutrition was a huge relief , we are only surviving with the grant and when it’s finished we are suffering,” she said.

“I was worried about Christmas for my grandchildren but now I am so grateful for this intervention,” Blayi said.

Lusikisiki donation recipient

Noloyiso Ngqala (51) pushing a wheelbarrow full of food from SA Harvest in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape on 21 December 2023. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)

An elderly woman, Madlamini Sizathu who looks after her 10 grandchildren said she was so happy to receive the groceries.

“This will definitely make a big difference this holiday and Christmas. The children were panicking about food,” she said.

SA Harvest crew

SA harvest crew offloading food parcels in Xurana Administration area in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape on 21 December 2023. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase).

Sizathu said some of her granddaughters were receiving grants but the money goes to their mothers.

“Sometimes they send the money but in other months they are not sending it and that is what makes my life and these children’s difficult sometimes because they mostly depend on my old age social grant,” she added.

Lusikisiki donations, Zoliswa Bushula

Zoliswa Bushula (31) and her two children walking back home with their food parcels donated by SA Harvest in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape on 21 December, 2023. (Photo:Hoseya Jubase)

Zoliswa Bushula (31) said one of the child-headed households that received a food parcel lost their parents years ago. She said they were a family of 12 children that lived alone.

“I am the oldest and I am the one who is looking after everyone.”

“We are surviving with my R350 and children’s social grant so this food we have received today will make a huge difference.”

Another beneficiary Nomanesi Gilo (51) who is staying with her five children said she was worried about Christmas.

“I was very worried but now I am happy because my children will have something to eat, thank you for the intervention,” Gilo said.

 SA Harvest team, Lusikisiki beneficiaries

(Front row) SA Harvest team lead by COO Ozzy Nel, surrounded by Lusikisiki beneficiaries in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape on 21 December, 2023. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)

SA Harvest founder and CEO, Alan Browde this morning confirmed that Daily Maverick readers have donated R1.476-million to the initiative so far. 

Lusikisiki child

A 6 year old boy carrying a bag of onions and apples donated by SA Harvest in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape on 21 December, 2023.(Photo: Hoseya Jubase)

The SA Harvest team is also looking after the survivor of a tragic family murder in the area that was ostensibly triggered by a mother’s constant struggle against unrelenting poverty and hunger.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Desperately poor Eastern Cape mom kills herself and three of her four children


Lusikisiki was chosen as the beneficiary region as it is one of the hardest-hit areas in South Africa where food insecurity is very high. 

Read more about how you can make a difference here.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    Much as I applaud the kind donors, the tragic futility of this intervention does not escape me.

    People of South Africa, ultimately only you can change your situation – by actively supporting the rule of law, and by voting for a party that delivers real services.

    • Margi Jensen says:

      Oh that is spot on! After 30 years if the current leadership poverty has continued to increase
      A change is desperately needed

    • Jeanette Mathews says:

      I think that if one has never, ever felt hungry, one would not speak, judge or opine. One would, if you are a worthwhile human being, and just help to feed someone who is hungry. That is what we all should do. If one can help, and if one does see hunger, simply DO what you can. People need food
      Not words.

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        What a silly comment.

        Firstly, you are assuming – incorrectly – that the 2 are mutually exclusive.

        Secondly, it is patently obvious that people need both.

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


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