02 April, 02:11 PM
A homeless community living in tents on the side of the road in Observatory is struggling to survive during the 21-day lockdown in the country.
While much emphasis has been placed on personal hygiene and handwashing to keep the deadly novel coronavirus at bay, they have no access to running water or ablution facilities.
“If we need some water we must ask people from the township or people that are going to work around here, to go and bring us water from their employers’ places. So that is how we survive here,” community leader Barbara Vuza said.
The group initially took up residency in Arcadia Place, an abandoned old-age home, but were evicted from the property before the building was demolished due to health and safety hazards.
“We still have photos of the building, even though you can’t see the building, because they demolished it. We went through all the processes of the court…,” Vuza told News24.
Vuza and the 70-odd residents received a few tents from a stranger and set them up on the vacant land.
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“That particular individual could only afford to donate few tents for those who have children,” Vuza said.
The community relies heavily on donations which are scarce at the best of times.
But Vuza said: “It (donations) has decreased.”
“You know, the students, they buy food. After three days he will bring that food, that leftovers to us and we don’t want to live on leftovers. It’s not how we want to live.”