Ten thousand households in the Cosmo City community, north of Johannesburg stand to benefit as they each receive a month’s supply of food on World Hunger Day, with a unique wheelbarrow food delivery system, which at the same time is creating an income for the local residents.
Kazang, the provider of airtime and electricity top up vouchers through its network of over 25,000 spaza shop vendors, together with the Mahlasedi Foundation as the partner NGO, are facilitating the delivery of much-needed food supply and income opportunities for the Cosmo City community.
This outreach programme would not be achievable without the significant financial support of a number of private sector companies who share the values of uplifting and enabling communities.
The outreach in Cosmo City this week is the second of its kind conducted by the parties and follows the success of a similar wheelbarrow food delivery project which commenced three weeks ago in Olievenhoutbosch – an informal residential area, situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria, where 30, 000 families in the community benefited from food supplies.
“While Kazang’s purpose is to empower informal traders and communities, we have gone beyond this realm – by not only enabling the delivering of food to those in need, but also leveraging the existing culture of wheelbarrow transportation to create an opportunity for community members to earn an income from food parcel delivery. As a means to encourage social distancing, wheelbarrow agents can conveniently redeem their delivery fee from the local Kazang spaza shops which act as cash dispensing agents, reducing the need to travel to banks, ATMS and eliminating cash withdrawal fees,” says Nkululeko Mvulana, spokesperson for Kazang.
Unemployment, which is a stark reality in South Africa in general, has surged significantly as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a catastrophic impact on our economy. The wheelbarrow food delivery programme recently saw the participation of over 400 residents from the Olievenhoutbosch community who received R20 per delivery – generating a collective income of over R250,000 for their households.
“The idea of delivering the food parcels was born out of the need to distribute food aid while still observing the social distancing needed to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Anyone with a wheelbarrow can be registered as a delivery agent for food parcels,” says Mvulana.
Rewarding the delivery of food parcels is enabled by the wiGroup gift voucher technology which is integrated to Kazang as redemption points. “We feel truly privileged to be partners in this initiative alongside Mahlasedi Foundation and Kazang. With our wiGroup product being used as a secure and seamless way to issue digital vouchers, we are grateful we get to play our small part in serving the communities where the need is paramount,” says Bevan Ducasse the CEO of wiGroup.
Spokesperson for the Mahlasedi Foundation, Bert Pretorius, says that they are committed to collaborating with like-minded organisations who have as their primary purpose the serving of underprivileged communities. “We meticulously identify the families in need, register each family to receive a grocery hamper and ensure that the wheelbarrow delivery agent then delivers the food to these families. We are grateful to have brought relief to some of the many families who have been severely impacted by the national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and also to be a part of an income generating opportunity for people from these communities,” adds Pretorius.
The Mahlasedi Foundation and Kazang would like to invite South Africans to the donate a wheelbarrow drive, by making a cash contribution for the purchasing of wheelbarrows to expand this outreach to other communities in need. Donations can be made at www.connected.co.za/cares