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Guest contributor

My experience with the lockdown in Cosmo City ext. 6 and its surroundings is that there has been obedience. The streets are empty. Only a few people are moving about – these I believe are the essential workers.

I communicate with my family based in Tzaneen on a daily basis. From their side, it is business as usual, no police or army deployment, and many people have travelled from various parts (mostly Gauteng) to the village without being tested for the Covid-19/ They are currently roaming the streets.

Recently, it was published in the news that a young male from Nwamitwa, Tzaneen, tested positive for Covid-19 in Gauteng. Instead of self-isolating he travelled to his home town, allegedly using a 22-seater minibus from Gauteng to Tzaneen and from there taking a 15-seater from Tzaneen to the villages. How many people came into contact with him and how many people are now infected?

Many rural areas are under-resourced and under-informed, hence every conspiracy becomes a reality

I think many people in these deep rural areas are not well informed about the virus or about what the lockdown entails, because in spite of the increased cases of Covid-19 in Limpopo people still live their normal lives. Today is a social grant pay day and attached are the pictures taken today at Maake Plaza, situated just outside Tzaneen town. Apparently, when asked why they couldn’t wait to collect the social grant another day, the people’s responses were that they rely on the social grant to survive. Perhaps an intervention to encourage the government to extend the social services relief that is provided in Gauteng to other provinces could help keep people from venturing into the streets looking for food, because their fear is being in the lockdown without food.

Our role as CW could also be an increased dissemination of information to rural areas through television and radio ads to reduce the stigma attached to the disease, as many people in these rural areas believe that Covid-19 is only a threat to “a certain ethnicity”; “people in urban areas”; “rich people”; “people who travel a lot,” and so forth. Seemingly, many are still not well informed about how the virus is spread. Is it ignorance? I don’t know, but we shouldn’t forget that many rural areas are under-resourced and under-informed, hence every conspiracy becomes a reality.