Death of starving migrant results in much-needed supplies for neglected Waterworks community

In the wake of the story of the Lesotho national who allegedly died of hunger in Waterworks in July 2020, the community has received an outpouring of sympathy and support in the form of hundreds of food parcels, masks and sanitary towels. However, the need is still greater than the available help.

The handing out of much-needed food to destitute residents of Waterworks near Lenasia in Johannesburg had to be moved to a nearby army base to prevent chaos erupting on Friday, 31 July 2020.

In the wake of Daily Maverick’s story on 29 July which reported on a Lesotho national who allegedly died from starvation, Seriti Institute CEO Juanita Pardesi delivered more than 600 food parcels, which included masks, sanitary towels and vitamins to desperate residents.

The institute had relied on community leaders to draw up a list of residents in need, but as soon as two bakkies laden with supplies arrived in the area, they were surrounded by throngs of starving residents.

Residents claimed the list contained names of those close to the leaders rather than those who most needed the aid. An attempt to form an orderly queue was abandoned when some residents failed to adhere to the instructions with some threatening violence if they did not receive parcels.

A decision was eventually taken to move the hand-out to an army base in Lenasia, which was just 1km away from the informal settlement.

Initially reluctant to assist, Pardesi and her team managed to convince South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel to allow them to park outside the base to do the handout.

“We cannot take the food back, the community needs it. All we ask is that you allow us to park by the side of the road and give out the food parcels. The community will be orderly in your presence, please,” Pardesi pleaded.

To read the full article please click on the following link: Daily Maverick article on Seriti’s food delivery