Shelly Botha, from Randfontein in Gauteng, says it’s heartbreaking to see her father’s daily struggle – including having to keep a brave face for his 10-year-old son, who’s on the autism spectrum.
Shelly took to the Facebook group “I lived in Randfontein and survived” last week in an attempt to help her dad, Eugene Barnard (42).
She says Eugene is struggling financially to survive.
“We’re urgently looking for a job for me,” she writes on the group. “I’m not asking for money or donations.”
Eugene, a construction foreman, hasn’t received his salary since November last year.
She says Facebook was her last resort.
“I’ve asked for help before and people think my dad can’t care for Ryan [his 10-year-old son] properly or that we’re just after the money but it’s really not the case,” Shelly writes.
“My dad is honest, honourable and hard-working and I just want the best for him.”
The company Eugene works for is battling, she says, and that’s why his salary wasn’t paid in the past few months.
“He’ll get R200 or R300 now and then but no one can survive on that. It breaks my heart to see my dad so desperate and helpless.”
Young Ryan, who’s on the autism spectrum, can’t talk and still wears diapers.
“I try to help where I can but I’m not always able to. Ryan’s medication is expensive and so are diapers.
“My dad is a hard-working man – he gets up at the crack of dawn to go to work. He told me he’s hoping and praying he’ll get paid a salary on Friday [28 February] but the chances are slim.”
Eugene is a single dad.
“He needs to stay strong for my brother and I think he’s trying to be brave for me but I can see the sadness in his eyes. I can see he’s wondering where the money to look after Ryan is going to come from.
“He’s a wonderful and loving dad.”
Shelly says Eugene has loads of experience, having worked in the construction industry for years.
“We’re not begging for money. I just wish he could find another job.”