WATCH: Food relief for 30 000 families in Olievenhoutbosch

By James Mahlokwane Time of article published Apr 29, 2020

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Pretoria - A massive food relief distribution initiative funded by the private sector took place in Olievenhoutbosch to help nearly 30 000 families affected by the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.

The youth yesterday descended on Walter Sisulu Primary School accompanying the elderly, the sick, the pregnant and mothers of newborn babies.

The Mahlasedi foundation partnered with the Department of Social Development and local political parties to register and tag every household to receive relief. 

The five-day initiative was well received by scores of locals who came with cars and wheelbarrows to collect important food parcels containing mealies, rice, baking flour, sugar and other basic groceries.

People collect food parcels in Olievenhoutbosch. Video: James Mahlokwane

The initiative was funded by the Douw Steyn Family Trust, along with the South African companies he founded, and forms part of a total pledge of R320 million.

A focus area for the Douw Steyn Family trust pledge is to work with non-governmental and non-profit organisations to support feeding schemes in the Telesure Investment Holdings (TIH) and Steyn City Properties neighbouring communities as part of its corporate social responsibility.

The Covid-19 pandemic which poses such significant economic and humanitarian challenges requires unified solutions and collective action. We hope this donation will provide a tangible difference to the communities we serve,”  Ian Leech, a Trustee of the Douw Steyn Family Trust said.

Chairperson of Mahlasedi, Bert Pretorius, said the generosity of the trust would help a community that had been severely impacted by the lockdown. He said most people were staying in their homes and, as a result, could not make money to feed their families.  

He also commended Tshikululu Social Investment which managed the project and the Department of Social Development for assistance in registering residents to ensure everyone was assisted.

People queue for food parcels in Olievenhoutbosch. Video: James Mahlokwane

“This initiative also united political parties like the ANC and the EFF who worked together to do all the registering and tagging of the entire Olievenhoutbosch for free.”

Beneficiary Betty Kekana, 67, said: “This is something truly special because we needed this help. I am the only one who has a source of income in my family. We only have my pension so something like this should not go unnoticed by the Lord. I hope he blesses these young people to keep doing this for other people and grants them many years of life.” 

A proud chairperson of the ANC in ward 106 Joseph Bapela said the party was particularly proud because even foreign nationals were included, with or without legal identification documents.

“We felt like you can’t say you’re helping fight the spread of the coronavirus but you’re leaving some people out. At the end of the day they’ll take to the streets to try and make money and ultimately get exposed. We would like to thank the community for embarking on this massive initiative without wanting to be paid for all the work they did to put this together.

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page.

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Pretoria News

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