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STILL HUNGRY DESPITE ‘RECEIVING’ E700

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EZULWINI – The cash-based transfers have brought about division within some families around Buka.


This is because allegations have emerged that the heads of the families, who received the E700 cash, have not bought food since the money was released to them on Wednesday.
During a visit to Buka on Friday morning, community members were found assembled at a kitchen centre (lidladla) near a shop. They had been called by caregivers to verify payment of the cash-based transfers.
Among the community members who had gathered were those who had already received the E700. According to a caregiver who was addressing the crowd, some of the beneficiaries had not received their monies because they had not registered their Mobile Money contact numbers and as a result, the cash could not be sent.


Intervention


The cash-based transfers are a part of government’s intervention to assist those who were adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The transfers are an alternative to food parcels.
With the E700, the beneficiaries are expected to purchase groceries for their households.


According to one family member of a household that has already received the cash, they were a child-headed family and their older brother was the breadwinner. He narrated that the older brother, who was a plumber, was the one registered for the cash transfer, but had not bought any food since he received the money on Mobile Money.


“I am aware that my brother received the E700 on Wednesday, but he has not bought any food. We are still without mealie-meal and cooking oil,” the younger brother said.
He further revealed that since his family had been short of food for the past two months, every family member hustled their way to generating money to buy take-away meals. The young man stated that he and his last-born brother went from homestead to homestead, cleaning people’s yards in return for money to buy their daily meals.


“It has been really hard because on some days, we would return without any money as some household heads would request to pay us later,” he said.
The young man claimed that his older brother, who was registered for the cash-based transfer, had kept the money for himself while the entire family starved.
Another family shared an almost similar experience.


*Futhi narrated that she was a second wife to a husband who was self-employed. She relayed that she lived in her one-roomed house within the family compound.
She added that the first wife also lived in a separate house within the same compound. Futhi said she was a factory worker while the first wife was unemployed.
The soft-spoken woman highlighted that her husband received the money last Wednesday, but did not return with any groceries. She pointed out that this was hard on her as she had to assist with food, not only for her household, but also for the other wife while their husband kept the money for himself.


Aggressive


She revealed that she did not know the reason her husband had not bought food and feared asking him as he often became aggressive.
Meanwhile, some community members are divided in the manner in which the registration process was done. One resident who preferred to comment on condition of anonymity, alleged that some of the beneficiaries who had registered for receiving the cash transfers were not originally from Ezulwini.


“Some of them are from Zombodze, they do not live here. Also, most of them are the youth who have proper jobs and are not affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” the community member said.
He added that the youth was made priority in getting the cash transfers and it raised eyebrows on how the registration process was done.
The community member claimed that some of them were still working.
*Not their real names

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