MWENEZI – A group of Zimbabweans resident in the South African Town of George in the Western Cape province are desperately looking for help to be repatriated back home, saying their host country’s extension of the lockdown was driving them to the brink of starvation.
On April 09, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an extension of the lockdown by a further two weeks until the end of April.
This has translated to enormous economic difficulty for citizen and foreigner alike, with the situation even direr for foreigners who live hand to mouth on a daily basis, with no job security and social security protection.
“Here in George, the people I know who desperately need to go home add up to 24. We had convinced ourselves that we could manage for 21 days but the extension has turned everything upside down. If we remain stuck, here we are definitely going to die of hunger. It’s better for this situation to prevail while we are in our home country.
“We went to seek help at Thembalethu Police Station but they laughed us away and mocked us. We had expected them to help us get travelling passes so we could travel back to Zimbabwe.
“On many occasions, we called the Zimbabwean consulate in Cape Town but nobody picked the calls,” said Respect Majoni who contacted TellZim on behalf of his group.
He said the group consisted of people from Mwenezi, Mhondoro and Beatrice.
“The little food that we have is fast running out and we don’t see how we will be able to survive this lockdown. We need to come back home; we are a humanitarian case. Our government should help us,” said Majoni.
South Africa, which is the hardest hit country in Africa, has implemented one of the toughest lockdown regime in the world, with blanket bans almost all travel.
There is also a strict alcohol and cigarette sales ban.