Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
THE Zimbabwe Community in South Africa (Zim-Com SA) has embarked on a programme to mobilise food and other resources for Zimbabweans affected by the lockdown in the neighbouring country.
The organisation champions the interests of Zimbabweans based in South Africa.
In a statement yesterday, Zim-Com SA spokesperson Mr Bongani Mkwananzi said some of their compatriots employed in low income paying jobs and those in the informal sector were finding it hard to maintain their general upkeep under the prevailing conditions.
“The generality of the Zimbabwean migrant group earns income from domestic work, the services industry like restaurants and garages, the construction industry as well as vending among other low paying and hand to mouth form of work,” he said.
“The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa hereby extends a begging hand on behalf of many such families who cannot manage to earn an income during this very necessary lock-down period.
“We appeal that help is extended to our community in the form of food parcels or vouchers to aid those that are now in distress and have no recourse or alternative.
“The situation being normal, our community would not find itself in such begging mode. This unprecedented situation calls for empathy to our community’s plight.”
Mr Mkwananzi said they had since sent out a request for those genuinely seeking food aid to submit their names and the list keeps growing.
He said some of their members especially the undocumented had not been registered by their employers to benefit under South Africa’s Worker Insurance Fund.
He said domestic workers were among those subjected to the no work no pay policy.
“Those seeking to assist may request names from our database and deal with distribution themselves or purchase food vouchers and we can send out as according to the list we have compiled.
“We will request food purchase receipts where a voucher has been assigned to mitigate abuse. Zimbabweans with a genuine need for food aid may continue to submit their names as we try to ask for aid,” said Mr Mkwananzi.