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In true South African spirit, Newcastillians across the country are celebrating the waves of compassion shown, with assistance continually growing, subsequent to the civil unrest.
On Tuesday, 20 July 2021, Afrika Msimang flew into Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, with her team from Alpha One Aviation to donate 250 food parcels to those in need of support.
Affectionally recognised as Mama Afrika, the full of life person is a known social activist and policy analyst, engaged with industry, communities, and government all to ensure sustainable community development. Such is her passion; Mama Afrika is fervent in her efforts to remove dependency on donors and create in-community ownership of development initiatives.
Landing with her team at Newcastle airport, Mama Afrika met with officials from Newcastle Municipality, where she stated, “We are here because we are aware communities are in need, and we want to ensure the communities of Newcastle are remembered.”
A total of 250 food parcels will be handed out to families in Madadeni and Osizweni, where looters ravaged several stores and businesses. The food parcels contain necessities that will last the respective families a number of days, while plans can be formulated to address the situation.
On behalf of the Newcastle Municipality, Municipal Manager Vish Govender extended his thanks to Mama Afrika and her colleagues. With Newcastle East facing mass destruction, he stressed, “The devastation destroyed the value chain, and people are now struggling to get basic necessities. They must now travel to town, and this comes at an extra cost.” Additionally, Govender stressed that the food parcels would go far, especially as residents face overwhelming obstacles currently.
Furthermore, he extended his thanks to the Newcastle community, security companies, police and traffic officials for ensuring Newcastle escaped a similar fate. “We had a serious threat at Newcastle Mall, but this was fortunately stopped.”
As Mama Afrika, her team and the Newcastle Municipality now begin distributing the food parcels, the well-known activist extends a sincere message to all South Africans. “We need to be guided by love and compassion, especially if we are to address poverty and inequality.”
In addition, she enthused that while food was brought into Newcastle today, she would love to see people become self-reliant. “Today we bring food, but when we come again, I would like to see people growing food.”
Furthermore, she highlighted that as Newcastle is the third-largest city in KwaZulu-Natal, help from various organisations and businesses is required to create employment and more food. While this will require extensive efforts from all, Mama Afrika urged all Newcastillians to join hands and work towards a prosperous future.
What are your thoughts on the food parcels being brought to Newcastle? Share your views in the comment section below.