The Gift that keeps ‘hyenas’ at bay

When Zimbabwe was blighted by a cholera outbreak in 2008-2009, they were the first relief organisation to respond, delivering medical supplies.

When Pakistan was battered by flash floods caused by the monsoon in 2010, they delivered 5 000 prepared food packs and a million purification sachets.

The same year, while we were cheering Simphiwe Tshabalala’s opening football World Cup goal, they sent a search and rescue team to Haiti to assist after that country was battered by a devastating earthquake that killed 300 000 people.

During the 2013 Mozambique floods, they fed 30 000 people until the flood water subsided and people were able to return to their homes.

They were back in our neighbouring country after cyclone Dineo uprooted houses and schools and they provided the local hospital with baby clothes and bulk food.

They’ve criss-crossed our country when drought struck, providing bottled water and drilling boreholes. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, they provided masks, coveralls, hazmat suits and reusable gowns, latex gloves and thermal scans, to our front-line healthcare workers.

When Johannesburg hospitals ran out of water last year, they rolled up their sleeves and dug boreholes on site while the provincial government was still waiting for Rand Water to fix the pumps.

During the senseless looting of malls in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in July last year, they were on the ground to distribute food parcels to the frail and elderly.

Who are these guardian angels? They are our one and only proudly South African Gift of the Givers.

It is little surprise therefore that many people are clamouring for the Gift of the Givers to take the lead in helping KwaZulu-Natal rebuild following the devastating floods that killed hundreds of people this month.

The government has declared a national state of disaster and made R1-billion available to fix the houses, schools and roads swept away in the torrent. However, South Africans believe the money will be squandered by the comrade hyenas, and who can blame them? Remember when we were staying at home and afraid of the airborne pestilence two years ago, the comrades shamelessly plundered the billions meant for relief funds. However, there has never been a whiff of scandal associated with the Gift of the Givers. They account for all their donations.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has already said the flood money will not be squandered, but that’s what he said about Covid-19 relief funds.

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