ABOUT 1800 Zimbabweans in South Africa are on the brink of starvation amidst the country’s lockdown meant to curb the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), a survey has found.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
The survey, an on-going was initiated by a South Africa based non-profit organisation Zimbabwe Exiles Forum seeks to assess the vulnerability of the respondents looking at whether they were sick, disabled, the number of children and their ages.
The organisation has begun raising food aid funds for these Zimbabweans.
Now since the beginning of the lockdown I have been receiving messages from various people asking for money to buy food. I have been dispatching my own money to the extent that I have now dispatched about ZAR17 000.
“The desire to help them led me to create an online survey four days ago when it became apparent that undocumented Zimbabweans will not be receiving food aid,” said ZEF Coordinator Mr Tino Mambeu in an interview.
Seeing many Zimbabweans asking for food aid, Mr Mambeu says he has been issuing vouchers and sending ewallet money of ZAR250 per family.
"So far I have helped 65 families. I have other people who have also donated to this cause," he said.
The organisation established in 2004.
looking at the interests of Zimbabwean refugees legal or social welfare, wants to raise 2 million rands for 2000 Zimbabweans’ food parcels.
“The recipients we are focusing on are only Zimbabweans whether documented or not,” said Mambeu who added that the MEC for social development in Gauteng Panyaza Lesufi said the government will only focus on documented migrants. Unfortunately even documented migrants are being denied UIF Pension that they contributed.
He noted that another challenge is that they also need repatriation.