By Andile Mngxitama
Comrades, you don’t have to be in parliament to hold the executive accountable.
The Gauteng government has provided a toll free number to call to get assistance for those in need of food during the coronavirus lockdown. I though that this was a great initiative and if it works for Gauteng then we must ask that it be done for all provinces.
But when I tried to call the number on Saturday, on behalf of a community in distress in Pennyville, Johannesburg – who couldn’t call themselves as the signal there was very bad – I was told via a recorded message to call from 7am to 5pm from Monday to Friday to access the service. So I tried calling again today (Monday). I first tried to call the number via a live broadcast on social media. I held on for 10 mins and got no response. I subsequently tried calling again. After 30 minutes of holding on, the line dropped automatically, so I called again. Well again after 30 minutes the line dropped. I gave up. I was on the phone trying to get through for a total of 1 hour and 10 mins. While I waited on the phone for a response I was assaulted with all kinds of music from the sublime to the putrid.
I have sent the Gauteng Premier David Makhura a tweet. I shall be following up. These people must stop playing games. Some of us are not their drinking buddies.
Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First (BLF), a radical black consciousness organization.