1000s line up for Gift of the Givers help at Rustenburg

2014-05-19 22:16
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Gift of the Givers helps at Rustenburg

Thousands of people arrived for food parcels given to starving mine worker families by the Gift of the Givers.

Cape Town - Thousands of people arrived on Monday for food parcels given to starving mine worker families by the Gift of the Givers, the foundation said.

The foundation's Imtiaz Sooliman told News24 that there had been up to 4 000 needy people who had queued in the hope of getting something to eat.

However, there was only enough for 500 families and the others had to turn back, hoping for another chance at being helped.

"They came in their thousands, hungry but dignified and disciplined. Marshalls controlled the crowds admirably.

"There was no rioting given this scenario, no complaints and no objection, but an overall acceptance that the most needy families stand in line first, even though they are fully conscious that further aid may not be forthcoming," said Sooliman.

"Aid is sporadic, minimal and dependent on the generosity of well wishers sympathetic to the plight of the starving mine worker families," he added.   

Sooliman said the need was huge and the situation desperate among the 80 000 families affected by the crippling 16 week strike at platinum mines.

He said many had sold most of their possessions and there was no means to pay school fees, to buy blankets, sanitary pads, baby milk powder or simple medication. 

"In all that frustration and desperation, our teams were never under any threat, but given full respect for coming and delivering."

Sooliman said another 600 aid packages would be delivered at the Khuseleka Mine in Rustenburg on Tuesday, while 5 000 people would be given a hot meal.

Gift of the Givers spokesperson Emily Thomas says they are working in hand with the Marikana Community Support group to identify families mostly affected by the on-going strike.

The foundation says they will continue with initiatives to alleviate poverty in the area.

The mine workers remain resolute on their call for basic salary of R12 500.

Read more on:    gift of the givers  |  imtiaz sooliman  |  mahikeng  |  strikes  |  aid  |  mining

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