- A waste picker has been taken in by his community when his means of survival was taken away with the lockdown.
- A family offered to give him and his wife food every week.
- He is grateful for the help and called on more people to do the same for others.
Sipho Majola, 59, has supported himself and his wife by picking waste for the past 5 years. When the lockdown was announced and the selling points closed, he did not know how he and his wife would survive.
“When I heard about the lockdown and how our selling points would be closed for 21 days (since extended to end April), my eyes filled with tears, wondering what my wife and I would eat,” he says.
Briefly.co.za learned that he and his wife live in an old railway house near the Benoni train station. He came to Gauteng 20 years ago but wasn't able to find stable employment. He eventually turned to waste picking to survive.
A family offered to him and his wife food every week until the lockdown ended and other residents said that they would keep their waste aside for him to collect.
“Suddenly my tears turned into joy. If it wasn’t for the well-wishers l don’t know what my wife and I would eat.”
The residents told him that he must look after himself and stay safe from the virus due to his age,.
"If it wasn’t for the residents, I would have had no choice but to walk my usual rounds collecting recyclable material”
Groundup spoke to him as he pulled his trolley in Wattville. He routinely pulls his trolley over 15 km a day according to Times Live.
“It feels good not to work too hard for once in my life,” he says.
“The work that we do is not easy, but we have no choice. It will be a long year before l can get a pension. l just have to endure until then.”
He called on more people to help other waste pickers with food and essentials.
“If many people offer help to waste pickers during this difficult time of the coronavirus, SA will be a better place,” he said.
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