He said they had refrained from dealing with councillors and ward committees and `had been very “clear and prescriptive” about the distribution, working with activists in a community to identify those in need.
“There is no political agenda to anything that we started doing and we don’t get used by politicians in that way. If a politician makes a request, we give them the WhatsApp for that area and they have to follow the queue.
“We call it hand to hand, it’s not hand to organisation to candidate, or someone who has an agenda and then to hand. For us it must be hand to hand, come off the truck to the person who receives and that’s the way we are going about it,” he said.
According to Babazile Mbatha, who facilitated the food delivery in Eshowe in northern KwaZulu-Natal, said that they had not received any food parcels since the president’s announcement about them.
A recipient in the area said that the food parcels would go a long way as the pension money their parents and grandparents were receiving was not enough
“Living in rural areas is very difficult and the elderly around here are also struggling, it’s really hard. This even pushes us to think about making bad decisions. Our grandparents get their pension but it doesn’t go a very long way and we aren’t able to buy food. If we worked we would be able to assist our parents,” she said.
For a local taxi driver, in Nkandla northern KwaZulu-Natal, the food parcels made him and his community feel like they were being noticed. He has not been able to earn a regular income since lockdown regulations affected his work.
“Thank you to the outreach for many of us are hungry here and as you continue to move to other places you will see that. We are hungry, no-one is paying attention to us, no-one knows that we are here,” said the man.
The man, who has to feed seven people, said that lockdown had been extremely difficult for the entire community. “At the moment we have nowhere to turn to, there is no food, we don’t know what the children are going to eat. The children are eating a lot and they haven’t been to school and there’s nothing that can be done. We’re saying that they must just continue helping us because there are lot of us in this area who are hungry,” he said.