In a bid to curb the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, MMC for Housing Cllr Mlungisi Mabaso, accompanied by the Chairperson of SCOPA Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP, and other City officials, visited a number of areas in the City of Joburg to hand out hand sanitizers, gloves and other essential products for the less fortunate.
MMC Mabaso, kicked of his oversite at Donavan McDonald Retirement Village in Roodepoort, where he distributed gloves and hand soaps to hundreds of vulnerable elderly citizens.
This is as a result of the dwindling supply of essential products in majority of supermarkets and pharmaceutical companies.
The elderly, who were heading to President Cyril Ramaphosa's call to self-isolate, expressed their gratitude for the MMC's good gesture to supply essential products for free.
MMC Mabaso then proceeded to Mapetla Hostel in Soweto, as well as Ezimbuzini Informal Settlement, near Orlando East, which is dominated by low income earners to distribute hand sanitizers and gloves.
This was done in cognisance that the two areas have limited access to water and dignified ablution facilities. Hand cleaning behaviour is paramount, given this pandemic and especially in areas that are overcrowded.
MMC Mabaso said inadequate water resources and sharing of toilets have a direct impact on the spread of the disease.
"We have taken a decision to supply hand sanitizers to the less fortunate, as they are more at risk of getting infected by COVID-19 due to overcrowded spaces. We call upon our communities to adhere to government's directives to wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, and to keep social distancing.
"This is not to punish our people, but this is to prevent a further spread of the Virus that has claimed thousands of lives globally. As the Department of Housing in the City of Joburg, I will be visiting other overcrowded areas during the lockdown, to ensure that we educate our people about social distancing and to distribute more essentials to those who cannot afford," said MMC Mabaso.
SCOPA Chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa applauded MMC Mabaso for the great initiative but says more needs to be done.
"At this time of crisis, our people need reassurance from their leaders that we are in the trenches with. Therefore, we must push back on the frontiers of ignorance, public education is very important particularly to the black community who seem not to fully understand the implications of this pandemic.
"What the MMC and his team has done, is a welcomed move. It’s good to see that the resources - as minimal as they are - are being stretched to reach almost the entire spectrum of South Africa," said Hlengwa.
Hlengwa further said that his expectation is that the public funds must reach people daily, not just during a pandemic.
Issued by the City of Johannesburg