She’s pregnant, has no stable job and isn’t sure how she’ll get through the lockdown if government doesn’t assist her with at least her basic need – food.
Nomthandazo Zulu is reluctant to share her painful story but finally opens up to Move!.
The expecting mother of two say her life has come to a standstill since President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered that citizens remain at home as much as possible to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The Sowetan usually works as a teller at a local shebeen, making about R500 a week. Her partner is supportive but it’s not enough, especially through these trying times.
“I haven’t been working since the lockdown started and that means not getting paid. My partner is also a casual worker so things aren’t looking so good for our family. You can see that I can give birth anytime now,” she says.
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Nomthandazo says she heard that people are getting food parcels from the government as a way of assisting people like her but for some reason her local councillor skipped where she lives and didn’t register her as someone in need.
“I heard that it’s the councillor who registers people who need assistance. But they didn’t come to my place even though they went to my neighbours,” she says.
The 34-year-old says she got the shock of her life when the neighbour told her that she had registered and the councillor was at their house.
“My jaw dropped because I’m home all day every day. I need this food parcel because right now my partner and I aren’t making any money. We’re trying to abide by the law, but the stomach doesn’t care about that. The worst part is that I need to be in good spirits so that whatever is going on doesn’t affect my baby,” she shares.
She says her partner, who doesn’t want to be named, has been trying to make ends meet by fixing things for neighbours. She points out this is risky since the police can come and arrest people at any time.
“I really have no idea what to do next. Taverns aren’t allowed to trade and if this goes on for much longer, coronavirus won’t kill us but hunger definitely will,” she predicts.
Before we leave, she says she’ll try to go see her ward councillor and register for the food parcel. However, she hopes that it’s not too late.
“Every day I don’t know where I’ll get my next meal. Things are better when we’re working because my partner can bring in some money to cover the shortfall but now that can’t happen. We still need to get things for the baby as well, it’s getting more difficult. I plead with the president to consider people like us who live from hand to mouth before making another extension,” she says.