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Opinion / Columnist

A special tribute to Omalayitsha

25 Apr 2020 at 10:39hrs | Views
The unveiled lockdown easing phases appear will be a very long wait. The sentiments by Minister Mboweni must get us quickly thinking about the fate of our people. We can't just wish them away. It appears to have serious implications for our people.

Let us spare a thought on our #COVID19 hardest people in South Africa. I have been chatting to a number of them. The situation is getting dire every day. Landlords are demanding their rentals, their food stocks are getting depleted and they are not working. I know our renowned activists are doing all they can to keep some going under these difficult conditions.

Let us spare a thought and pay tribute to our hard-working Omalayitsha who endured all the harassment, extortionists when we are ferrying our informal cross border traders with goods for resale to keep families going, when they brought food for our families when they brought building materials for us to have decent shelter when they brought us cheaper goods from SA when they brought us cheaper spare parts to keep our old cars going, their contribution in our livelihoods cannot just be poked fun at today. Their contribution to our lives is indelible.

Let us spare a thought and pay tribute to our hard-working people in South Africa who have been working in places of entertainment like restaurants, those who worked in hotels, those who worked travel agents, they have been key in keeping families fed at home, sent kids to school, young people to universities, the sick accessing medication, our people were being dressed through their monthly remittances.

What can urgently be done to make sure our people restart their lives again, it is becoming inevitable that some will be forced by these circumstances to come back home. What are the immediate strategies that can be employed to try and make them survive when they return? Some may dismiss me and say nothing will happen because maybe they are privileged and have authentic papers in SA. I am talking about our people who survived on menial jobs particularly those mentioned above.

I remind our people at home to never forget how useful these people are in our lives in good times. I have seen some gloating about their conditions now. I can't blame South Africa, it is their country after all even though we have contributed immensely in their economy,  bangenza loba yini ngezwe labo, kodwa thina sisheshe sikhohlwe.

Michael Mdladla Ndiweni is the Executive Director for Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association writes in his own capacity



Source - Michael Mdladla Ndiweni
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