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500 Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa face starvation

by Staff reporter
21 Apr 2020 at 08:12hrs | Views
OVER 500 Zimbabwean migrants living in South Africa are reportedly facing starvation as most of them have been subjected to a "no work, no pay" policy due to COVID-19 lockdown.

Bongani Mkhwananzi, spokesperson of the Zimbabwean community in South Africa, yesterday told Southern Eye that they had established a database showing that 500 Zimbabweans were in dire need of food aid and the list was growing long.

South Africa last week extended its initial 21-day national lockdown by 14 more days as part of measures to flatten the COVID-19 curve, with people ordered to stay indoors.

Reports from that country indicated that the Cyril Ramaphosa government was only providing food aid to its citizens, leaving out foreigners.

"The Zimbabwean Community in SA hereby extends a begging hand on behalf of many such families who cannot manage to earn an income during this lockdown period," Mkhwananzi said.

"We appeal that help be extended to our community in the form of food parcels or vouchers to aid those that are now in distress and have no recourse."

He said they approached the Zimbabwean embassy and were told that President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government was working on repatriating distressed citizens.

Meanwhile, Seed Co Zimbabwe has donated 13 tonnes of mealie-meal to vulnerable communities in Bulawayo with DHL Zimbabwe providing free transport for the donation.

Among the major beneficiaries of the donation are the IAM4BYO Fighting COVID-19 initiative and the food is meant to help the citizens during lockdown which was extended by the President Emmerson Mnangagwa to May 3.

IAM4BYO Fighting COVID-19, which sourced the donation, was launched three weeks ago at Ekusileni Medical Centre, by business people, academics, civic society and non-governmental organisations who are mobilising resources to equip local health institutions which will be used for the treatment of coronavirus patients.

IAM4BYO Fighting COVID-19 chairperson, United Refineries chief executive officer Busisa Moyo confirmed receipt of the donation.

Source - newsday