Store gives unemployed people groceries

MEMBERS of the SA Unemployed People's Movement were yesterday given free groceries by Boxer Store in Isipingo on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast .

The handover was peaceful and unlike what happened in Durban's city centre last month when shops were looted and 90 members of the organisation arrested.

This was after unemployed people held four protest meetings at the City Hall, demanding a basic income grant of R1500 for every unemployed person to help ease the plight of the country's estimated 26million unemployed people.

The organisation's general secretary, Muzi Mkhize, said they had spoken to the store manager about their plight.

Mkhize said their members were not rebels as portrayed in the media last month.

"We met the management of Boxer Stores and an agreement was reached that 10 unemployed people would be given groceries worth R1 500," Mkhize said.

"This is what we have been asking for from the government that we put into power, but to no avail."

Mkhize condemned last month's looting, but attributed it to anger.

"It's a fact that people are hungry and a hungry stomach is an angry stomach," he said. That is why our members decided to go out and loot.

"But this time around we followed proper channels by making arrangements with the store and we struck a deal."

He said the organisation would continue engaging business people to provide food for unemployed people.

"We are a peaceful organisation and our members do not believe in violence," he said. "Our members were given the groceries and there were no hiccups or problems."

The manager of Boxer Store declined to comment.