Duduzile Gumede
2 minute read
4 Apr 2020
8:00 am

Times are tough when your proud neighbour begs

Duduzile Gumede

I see the struggle. It’s real. And my heart bleeds for my neighbours…

Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) pass a butchery as they patrol the streets of the Johannesburg CBD, 1 April 2020, during a nationwide lockdown. South Africa's lockdown imposes strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Picture: Michel Bega

Small businesses around Soweto continue to suffer as the 21-day lockdown continues. I know, I saw my neighbour begging – a proud man who normally runs a car wash was asking for loose coins to make ends meet... He is standing at his gate, a stone’s throw from mine in White City, telling every passerby how he is suffering since he had to close shop. “Please, just some loose change…” I ask him: “What if the lockdown is extended? How will you cope?” He has no answer… Going shopping, I pop into Zimbabwean Sam Mabuda’s fish and chips spaza shop....