KZN Christian Council appeals for food donations as the public run out of supplies
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DURBAN - As consumers lined up for nearly six hours to get groceries at a supermarket in Pinetown on Wednesday, the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council (KZNCC) has appealed for food donations, saying the province had now been hit with a food crisis.
The plea comes as the province continues to experience and witness acts of vandalism, looting and torching of businesses, warehouses and shopping centres in many parts, affecting the movement of trucks which carry goods - mainly food - to many parts of the country.
The council said it was crucial for everyone to raise their hands and assist in bringing about peace, order and stability in KZN and South Africa, stressing the importance of assisting struggling families in these difficult times.
“To business and the public: we are now hit with a food crisis. Please make any donation you can to the KZNCC for the distribution of food to those left most vulnerable by these riots,” said KZNCC chairperson Bishop Nkosinathi Myaka.
Meanwhile, Vuyolwethu Baleni of Sarnia, a suburb in Pinetown, spoke of the frustration of waiting for nearly five hours before being able to buy groceries in the local Spar Supermarket at Paradise Junction on Wednesday.
He had heard through the neighbourhood watch the previous night that the local garage would be operating, and decided to get up early in order to fill up his car. However, upon arrival there was already a long line of cars queuing for petrol.
“Basically had I not brought my cousin along with me to drive the car while I waited on the line to the supermarket, we would not have had this food that I managed to buy,” he said.
The local resident who waited in the line from 9 in the morning and got to the shop by 2pm was shocked when he entered the store.
“There was no sugar, mealie meal, rice, flour, yeast or cooking oil, let alone vegetables. The shelves were simply empty by the time we got there. But at least we got some milk, pasta and soya mince. This is bad, guys,” he told The Mercury.
Another shopper in the line said he had come from Botha’s Hill in order to buy groceries as many shops had either been looted or closed where he had been.
The Paradise Junction was one of the few centres that were operating in Durban, and this was reflected by the large number of customers who had lined up early in the morning for groceries until the 3pm cut-off time.
The centre was manned by armed security, who were on high alert for any possible trouble. The two garages in Underwood Road also had to deal with long lines of motorists, some of them coming from as far as uMlazi.
According to the KZNCC’s Cardinal Wilfred Napier, chairperson of the KZN-Church Leaders Group, the leaders had noted with serious concern the reckless behaviour of numerous people who had resorted to violence, looting and damage of property, pointing out that such actions have a direct impact on businesses, livelihoods and access to food.