Coronavirus Stress in Rustenburg

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Life in Mfidikoe, Rustenburg has become very stressful for the family of a waste picker. After being denied the right to work during lockdown, the waste picker told a story of hunger and stress.

Before this pandemic breakdown me and my family were not facing financial crisis but it went deeper when Level 5 started. To survive as a waste picker collecting waste, I have to collect until I have at least 100 tonnes of waste (a month).”

When level 4 was granted I thought things will be back to the normal ways of life, but we still were not allowed to collect waste. I nearly fainted as the stress came down on me. I saw my family starving and since I’m not a member of the ruling party, the councillor wouldn’t give me food parcels to feed my family.”

COVID-19 brought a huge change in my house. We are so stressed to an extent that even if a child does something wrong we become aggressive and start shouting. This pandemic has left us fighting hunger and drunkenness, and jealousy has grown.”


This article was submitted on 29 June 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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