From 9th to 17th July 2021, two provinces in South Africa experienced heartbreaking unrest fuelled by worsening unemployment and inequality as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The looting and rioting of malls, small businesses and factories ended with widespread destruction and devastation across Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng. For many communities, accessing essential goods and services became practically impossible due to the disruption of supply chains and logistical networks.
Siyazenzela graduate Nomvuyo Bhengu from Wilderness Foundation Africa’s partnership with LC Packaging South Africa and LC Supports Foundation witnessed firsthand the impact the unrest had on her community in Pietermaritzburg, KZN, and those surrounding her, so took it upon herself to take action and provide relief to those in need.
Many shops had been burnt down, some shops couldn’t receive stock as the trucks were at risk of being burnt and many were afraid of the repercussions of operating during the unrest. Nomvuyo and her family travelled to find shops which were selling bread and subsequently distributed 96 loaves to vulnerable communities which could not access basic goods - a true display of initiative and courage.
In the aftermath of the unrest and while South Africa rebuilds, we are reminded of the spirit of Ubuntu and our collective humanity during times of crisis. As we recently commemorated Mandela Day, the acts of kindness and service which have followed the unrest are examples of the spirit of Nelson Mandela and resilience of South Africa’s people. Wilderness Foundation Africa commends Nomvuyo and all those striving for a better, united South Africa.