Unity Key in Push for Social Justice

Friday 8 May 2020
Strategic collaboration between the private sector, civil society and government has never been more important. The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise despite the lockdown. Infections are now rising at a rate of over 200 a day This is only the beginning.
 
Poverty, inequality and unemployment crippled South Africa before COVID-19 and will continue to do so long after this crisis is behind us but our actions today will determine whether we emerge from this national state of disaster weaker or stronger than we were before. 
 
Coronavirus is a stark reminder of how unequal our society is. According to Stats SA (2017) one in three South Africans lived on less than R797 a month and the majority of the families multiple children. Most of these children are in our townships and have no idea where their next meal will come from. There is no denying that the poor are hardest hit, children and mothers will experience the pain. 
 
We are starting to see visible signs of social anxiety, fear and hopelessness brought on as a result of the crisis. Families have lost all control and cannot put a meal on the table. most visibly, we have seen how hunger has created unrest our communities. Hunger “riots” are beginning to emerge.
 
According to the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), the Department of Social Development has a limited capacity to feed 300 000 people nationally but by May, the country may need to feed over 3.2 million people. 
 
A strategic, united effort between government, civil society and the private sector - at scale - is lagging. Sectors have not created a clear, united approach in response to the crisis before us. We must emerge from this crisis stronger, with the same generous spirit, united on a path that brings us one step closer to social justice.  
 
Let us join forces, united – in one voice with a shared purpose. 
 
By Yani Horn,  Director of Fundraising and Partnerships at Save the Children South Africa