Corona lockdown 2020 in Khayelitsha

Written by on 14/05/2020

How will Khayelitsha survive this pandemic?

Khayelitsha which is the biggest township in South Africa with more than 3 million population epicenter from having the first recorded case in the Western Cape townships that rapidly grew in no time to the highest township with recorded cases infected with COVID -19  in South Africa.

The area has been obstinate in following the regulations set to protect people to not get infected by covid 19 with people not wearing masks, travelling in their transports without protections and selling alcohol amongst themselves despite the ban on alcohol and that has led to Khayelitsha leading in the recorded cases of Covid-19.

Although the township is the biggest in the country the queues at shopping malls prove that Khayelitsha doesn’t have enough retail food businesses and with no help from the closing down of major popular stores because of the virus, everywhere you go in the area you will see the longest lines of people in queues some without masks and taking a risk to apply no social distance because someone might just occupy the space you live of 1.5 km distance. All this to get their grant money or to do their groceries that you will find the elderly sleeping overnight outside these shops as an attempt to be first on the ques or at least closer to the door.

Grant payers sleeping overnight next to the shops in Khayelitsha Mall

After the President lifted stage level 5 and we went on to level 4 the number skyrocketed even further, essential businesses closed down, police stations like Lingelethu, Clinics like Site B day hospital and Nonqubela clinic had staff members infected with little knowledge of how many people they might have infected, food retail stores that most grant payers depend on like Shoprite stores and Spar many of them closed because of staff getting infected by the virus.     

Corona goes from one infected person to a hundred people and perhaps people need to hear the unfiltered truth to better protect themselves but from the high increasing daily recorded cases we are losing quite a number of people to a point where we no longer call the infected people but “cases”, people are dying and so are businesses that sustain people’s livelihood.

Khayelitsha being the prime attraction in the Western Cape has been hit hard as some of the residents during this difficult time have been removed from their homes in the informal settlements of Enkanini and were given uninhabitable tents to live in with their families by the Western Cape government, this is an ongoing story that we wish to follow up on and keeping people updated.  

Enkanini informal settlements in Khayelitsha


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