Sowetan reader saves family from hunger

Agnes Shabangu in front of the groceries donated by a Cape Town-based Sowetan reader on Saturday.
Agnes Shabangu in front of the groceries donated by a Cape Town-based Sowetan reader on Saturday.

A Sowetan reader has donated food to a mother who had been struggling to feed her five children as she was unable to work.

The Mpumalanga department of social development also stepped in and handed over food parcels to the family.

On Friday, Sowetan ran a story about Agnes Shabangu, 45, who told the newspaper that she was unable to go to work and had no income due to the lockdown. As a result, they had run out of food and her hungry children walked 2km to the Komati River to catch fish.

Shabangu from Ntunda village, outside Malalane in Mpumalanga, told Sowetan that she wished she and her children would be hospitalised because they would get food.

A reader who was touched by her story contacted Sowetana and pledged to help.

Thembelihle Shabangu, originally from Driekoppies near Ntunda village who now lives in Cape Town, sent R1,500 to her sister.

The sister then met with Sowetan and groceries worth R1,000 were bought for the family.

They were given the R500 in cash.

"I read the story while on my way from buying my groceries," said Thembelihle who is not related to the family.

"I thought I'm going to eat and I wasn't happy that I have food while there is a mother and her children from where I come from who are suffering.

"That is why I decided to send money for her to buy food," she said.

Shabangu, a farmworker with a salary of R3,000 a month, was told at the end of March that she would not be getting paid as she was not working due to the lockdown.

Shabangu's joy was written all over her face when she received the food.

"I'm over the moon. Thanks to Sowetan for telling my story.

"My children and I were going to die of hunger. I was so frustrated and did not know what to do...

" I'm really thankful to the people who gave us all of this," said Shabangu yesterday."

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