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Shocking footage shows queues of more than two miles as hungry residents of one South African city line up to collect food parcels.
Drone footage over the city of Centurion shows thousands of people waiting to receive one of the 8,000 food hampers that had been donated by local businesses.
Lockdown has meant that businesses have closed, leaving people unable to work while many of the poorest people of the informal settlement of Mooiplaas have been left with nothing to eat.
According to charity and aid workers, the donation of food parcels is a 'drop in the ocean', compared to how much many communities need.
Most of the aid is going to non-South African residents who are not able to claim financial help from the government, Metro reports.
Activist Yusuf Abramjee told Times Live: "The need for food is massive. More than 80 percent of this community are foreigners and they have not received any help from government. We are happy we made a small difference."
Meanwhile Asgar Akoob of the United Muslim Forum warned that there was still a lot of work to be done to ensure people have enough to eat.
He told the news outlet: "The lockdown is far from over and hunger is growing by the day. Let's continue to make a difference wherever we can."
The parcels were organised by Tshwane Muslim Community and the Sutherland Ridge, Ikon Park and Westhills business communities, who have thanked the Gauteng social development department, the city of Tshwane and law enforcers who approved the distributions.
8000 food hampers distributed by the Tshwane Muslim Community and Sunderland Ridge Business Forum in Mooiplaas/Spruit today. @CityTshwane @Abramjee @gpgSocDev @Lesufi @GautengProvince @David_Makhura @SAPoliceService @DMLaudium @LaudiumToday pic.twitter.com/htTEWtaUec
- Operation SA (@OperationSA1) April 29, 2020
Members of the police and armed forces have been on hand to ensure that the distribution goes smoothly.
South Africa has announced it will be gradually relaxing its strict lockdown rules starting from today (1 May).
During this phase, around one-and-a-half million people will be allowed to go back to work in selected industries, including clothing, packaging and textiles. Restaurants will be open for takeaway and deliveries only.
People will also be allowed outside to exercise, for a maximum of three hours during the morning. Masks must be worn while outside and at places of work.
Meanwhile, a ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes will continue.
Announcing the easing of the strict measures President Cyril Ramaphosa said: "Our people need to eat. They need to earn a living.
"Companies need to be able to produce and to trade, they need to generate revenue and keep their employees in employment."
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