Government only knows us when we go to vote –Iterileng residents

South Africa

Johannesburg – Residents of the Iterileng informal settlement near Laudium in Centurion lined up on 20 May 2020 to receive hampers that included 10kg maize meal, food, masks, soap, and sanitiser.

Eleven thousand hampers were to be distributed from 08:00 am but residents started queuing in the early hours, the queue snaking through a nearby sports field.

The distribution of hampers was a joint operation by Meal SA, Operation SA, the community of Tshwane Muslims and other parties.

The process of distributing the hampers appeared to be well-coordinated as it was led by the police and organiser, with volunteers found nearly at every corner of the queue to control the movement. The organisers also ensured that good hygiene was practiced as they sanitised every person in the queue.

They also ensured that people’s thumbs were marked to avoid people returning to get a second hamper.

“Government knows us when we go to the vote. They go house to house. After that government is gone,” said Gloria, a resident of Iterileng.

“This community is desperate. These people have not received any food aid from government. So, we’re here to try and make a difference,”  said Yusuf Abramjee, a social activist and of the co-organisers of the food distribution.


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