PARLIAMENTARY OFFICE OF MASIZOLE MNQASELA MPP.
OVERSTRAND COMMUNITY COVID-19 LOCKDOWN INITIATIVE
Keeping our communities fed during the lockdown.
On the 27th of March we made a call for public donations to the COVID-19 Fund. This is a non-governmental fund, and is money that comes from private citizens and the business community. We have also received a R60’000.00 donation from the DA Councillors in the Overstrand Municipality and for this we are extremely grateful.
Through this initiative and the establishment of the fund we have managed to raise R167’000.00 altogether. All of which have been spent in the number of communities across the Overstrand. Over-all this has afforded us the means to touch the lives of more than 10’000 people in some way or the other. There has been an unprecedented need that has been aggravated even further by the many people who are usually gainfully employed but who are now sitting at home without pay. We anticipate an even greater increase in demand due to the extension of the lockdown. With that said, our endeavour is to continue to feed the needy even after the lockdown has ended; albeit on a lesser scale.
There has been an overwhelming support from various NGOs, community interest groups, individuals and churches. I will not mention them all by name here, but our appreciation goes to everyone who has graciously stepped up to assist in this time of need.
Our gratitude is furthermore extended to the voluntary work of the Relief.Fund who manages our FOOD BANK. Similarly, our thanks go to the Shofar Church for the support that Pastor Andries van der Merwe, along with his church members and a host of volunteers, have been giving to the community by way of the number of food parcels put together.
All the above donations are from YOU, the people of the Overstrand, who have opened your hearts so generously to ease the plight of our most vulnerable during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Each Municipal Area has its own local champion and they are councillors Grant Cohen (Hangklip-Kleinmond), Ronald Nutt (Greater Hermanus) and Riana De Koning (Stanford and Greater Gansbaai).
GREATER HERMANUS: Cllr Rev. Ronald Nutt 079 883 7265
An average of 2900 people are being serviced on a daily basis through Community Food Kitchens that have been set up at various points in Hermanus since the start of the lockdown. Thus far 407 families have benefited from food parcels handed out at these distribution points, reaching close to 1700 people. At a cost of R350 per parcel a family of four can be fed for up to a week at a time. Our intention is to reduce the size of the parcel by half in order to touch as many lives as possible.
Below is the breakdown of activities per area.
In Zwelihle, we have established food kitchens which are being supported as follows
1) Red Cross/Rainbow Trust serves between 150 - 200 per day.
2) The RDP Centre initially served on average between 180-220 per day. However, as the need increased the amount of servings per day escalated to close on 400.
Two more food kitchens will open on Tuesday, 21 April.
Two food points were initiated where up to 50 people were serviced per day at each point. Since then three more soup kitchens were established, now serving around 180 people per day.
With the increasing demand, an additional four to six more kitchens will be set up in due course.
We have opened two new soup kitchens in partnership with the NG Kerk, Anglican church and TKC church that feed an average of 80, 250 and 180 people on a daily basis, respectively. We also intermittently help at the Gospel Outreach with food supplies for their kitchen. Through your kind donations we have been providing Food to the Homeless Centre, in the Moffat Hall where all homeless people, throughout Overstrand were moved since lockdown in order to protect them from the scourge of the virus. A special thanks to councillor Christine May and Rev. Ronald Nutt for their time and effort in keeping the homeless warm and well nourished daily.
An additional four more food points will be opened in Mount Pleasant in the next while to try and keep up with the growing demand in the area.
HANGKLIP-KLEINMOND: Cllr Grant Cohen 072 436 9068
In Hangklip-Kleinmond up to 500 food packs per week based on a joint operation between various councillors, retail stores, private donors, church groups, community interest groups and NGO’s were handed out. In addition, 120 Spar vouchers to the value of R100 each and two R100 OK vouchers allowed the managing team headed up by Cllr Cohen to purchase various infant, grocery and toiletry items that enabled a greater reach to even more families in need.
Cllr Charmaine Resandt, through her Blue Wave Work-4-Change initiative has received substantial funding from sponsors that have ensured the delivery of baby items such as nappies, formula and cereal close to 150 mothers to date.
In total, about 2000 people have benefitted from the aforesaid food/toiletry packs, meals, soup and baby packs thus far. An average of 700 people benefit daily from our food kitchen initiative.
STANFORD AND GREATER GANSBAAI: Cllr Riana De Coning 083 597 2781
Rotary International has been a great asset in helping to provide Food Security in the Stanford area. Various councillors and various NGOs have been assisting in the Greater Gansbaai area. At least eight soup kitchens are up and running and serving almost 3’000 people on a daily basis. More than 300 individual households were assisted with a ‘survival parcel’, sufficient to serve a family of four for at least a week. This was specific for Masakhane based on the wishes of the donor, who wanted food security for their workers.
Approximately 100 volunteers are involved in the collection, preparation and distribution of food in Masakhane, Beverley Hills, Blompark, Eluxolweni and Buffeljachts in Gansbaai, and Thembelihle and Blomtuin in Stanford.
Our deepest gratitude goes to those in our communities who have also kept our animals in their hearts and donations have constantly been delivered to various animal homes.
In addition, we extend our thanks to those who donated 1’000 face masks to be used by the volunteers and essential services workers in the area.
In Masakhane, a significant donation was further afforded by the Grootbos Foundation.
Of note is the School Feeding Scheme under the auspices of the Department of Education that is now also fully in operation across the Overstrand.
However, whilst the Department of Social Development has assured us of their commitment, we are still awaiting their food supplies so that those too can be distributed to the needy.
With that said, we are still largely reliant on the goodwill of donors. For those wanting to make a monetary contribution our banking details are as follows:
Acc Name: Overstrand LMC
Branch Code: 33481
Ref : Covid-19
Proof of payment (POP), please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to councillor Riana De Coning for keeping our finances clean, she has also sent thank you letters to those who have emailed us proof of payment and provided us with their email addresses. If you can, please provide us these details.
Our strength lies in the cooperation and synergy between the business community, individual members of society, councillors, NGO’s, support agencies and community interest groups - including faith based organizations. Please know that all donations received, albeit it monetary, product or other, will be distributed on a needs basis at all the identified hotspots throughout the Overstrand Municipal area.
We are forever indebted to the wonderful people of the Overstrand, and are deeply humbled by the unified spirit of giving and deep sense of love and care that has been displayed so rampantly to ALL it’s people. Once again, thank you to the DA councillors for their monetary donation and the ongoing support from all councillors and the Overstrand Municipal Disaster Unit.
Those who seek to divide us will only succeed in making us much stronger and better together.
In closing, please remember to use your hand sanitiser or wash your hands regularly with soap and water, observe social distancing and don’t leave your home unnecessarily.