By Lereko Ntaoana
2 April 2020
My name is Lereko Ntsaoana from Daveyton in the East Rand of Gauteng. This is what is happening around my township and how people around my location are responding to the matter at hand – COVID-19.
It’s been seven days since the lockdown started and its been months since the outbreak of coronavirus, but to me it seems like people are still in the dark about what is happening around. Only a few in my location have taken the necessary precautions to prevent COVID-19 infections but the majority believes coronavirus is for rich people or people who travel a lot.
The President last week announced the lockdown and urged people to stay at home. Since the President ordered the country to shutdown, in Daveyton it’s still normal life. People seem to be on vacation: shops are still opened, streets are still crowded and people don’t have much knowledge about the virus. On Friday, 27 of March (the first day of the lockdown), people were indoors and seemed like they were going to abide by the rules, but the following day it was a totally different story. People were again walking in the streets and police weren’t there to monitor. The police only came on Sunday and that’s when the SANDF came too. Since then, we have not seen them parading in the streets.
The government is not prioritising the lives of the working class and are not taking serious measures to address the problem. Yesterday I took a walk to the mall and it brought me pain to see the elderly in queues going to buy essential goods that they need to survive. The state could have given them food parcels, like the way they do when they want our votes.
The government promised to used schools and churches as shelter for the homeless and the “Nyaope” boys to stop the risk of spreading the coronavirus but they are still at the corners of our streets and still picking up plastic materials for recycling. The government is clearly failing us and we need to take it upon ourselves to raise more awareness about the virus or else many people are going to lose their lives.