“If COVID-19 gets here, we are all dead” Zandspruit residents

Johannesburg – Now that COVID-19 has been confirmed in the township of Khayelitsha in the Western Cape, residents in the similar informal settlements have already rejected any chance of beating the disease.

The residents of Zandspruit, an informal settlement in the west of Johannesburg have said everyday life already comes down to survival of the fittest, yet in the face of the coronavirus, none of them could win.

“Even if it can come, we will all die, we are the forgotten ones,” said Philemon Mokgwathe, who has lived in Zandspruit since 2003.

In the time he has lived here, he has joined hundreds of residents along Beyers Naude Road as they burned tyres, protesting against their appalling living conditions.

This is the experience that has taught him that no one is coming to save them. This situation has forced to contend with the inevitability of death should one case of COVID-19 be confirmed in the settlement.

“All these things that we are doing, the protest, the blocking of the roads is for nothing. It’s falling on deaf ears,” he added.

Because of the unliveable shacks, they call home, the residents of Zandspruit are unable to adhere to the 21-day lockdown.

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