/ 16 July 2021

Food drives from Jo’burg support KwaZulu-Natal’s citizens in need

FD1-FD5 volunteers at Jacaranda Montessori preschool packaging and loading donations into trucks to transport to KwaZulu-Natal. (Humairah Rangila)

The Aid group, 911 4 kidZ, has made a plane available to deliver food and essential items to those in need in KwaZulu-Natal, in response to the shortages created by this week’s looting and vandalism, triggered by protests against former president Jacob Zuma’s jailing for contempt of court.

The plane contains basic food items, toiletries and medicine bound for NGOs in KwaZulu-Natal, which will distribute the donations. 

This week’s violence has rendered travel along key highways difficult and even unsafe, with public transport in KwaZulu-Natal also suspended. In response to this, 911 4 kidZ founder Amoré Sameera Jooste organised a drive to get food and other necessities to those in need. 

“Reading how people are begging for food breaks my heart. I cannot sit in my home and eat a meal while others have not eaten,” she said.

Jooste secured transport from an anonymous company, which also covered the cargo costs. 

Many donations have streamed in and Jooste says the plan is to run a flight every day for the next few days.

Humairah Rangila told Mail & Guardian on Friday that she was worried about the fate of her family in KwaZulu-Natal. When a relative sent information about another food drive going to KwaZulu-Natal in two planes and three trucks from Johannesburg, Rangila circulated the information in her local group.

She says volunteers of all ages and races then worked together to sort out and package donations, which ended up filling two one-tonne trucks headed for KwaZulu-Natal. 

“Once I saw the food warehouses being looted, I felt something had to be done and tried to plan how I could help the affected people of KZN,” Rangila said.

Another group doing food drives is being run by the nonprofit organisation, Ashraful Aid, which so far has distributed milk and bread in Durban and surrounding areas, and plans to distribute baby formula and other necessities in the coming days, said its chief operations officer, Yusuf Nadee.