Following the violent community protests in most areas in Bokone Bophirima which saw tuck shops of foreign nationals looted and vandalised almost three weeks ago, the Department of Local Government and Human Settlements has been working with all stakeholders to coordinate the provision of humanitarian relief which includes providing them with food parcels, blankets and accommodation.
In Mahikeng, almost 755 foreign nationals who are mostly from Ethopia, Bangladesh, Congo and Pakistan have been placed at a various places of safety in and around Mahikeng, 127 in Taung and Pudumoe, 53 in Ganyesa, 96 in Klerksdorp.
Through the Provincial Disaster Management Centre, various form of assistance has been provided: SASSA has been providing blankets and food parcels to all the places where the displaced foreign nationals are accommodated, Red Cross Society assisted with food blankets and toiletries. The Department of Social Development availed blankets and provided catering at some of the places of safety, the Scouts Centre (Mahikeng) has made their facility temporarily available for accommodation. Mahikeng local municipality and Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality will continue to work in these places within their jurisdiction to ensure to ensure environmental health issues are dealt with.
Other stakeholders that have also assisted are the Muslim community in Danville who have availed their facility for accommodation, albeit temporarily; the community of Moshawana also donated food parcels. The Aurum Institute (which is a public-benefit health organisation) has set up mobile clinics at the places and have availed a doctor to deal with any emergencies.
Through the PDMC, engagements are continuing with other sector departments such as Public Works and Roads, Home Affairs and Health to deal with matters such as identifying alternative accommodation as well as ensuring that those that have lost their documents, get the necessary assistance. A programme which will involve community and traditional leaders, religious formations and relevant government departments is being developed in order to integrate them back into the communities where they used to live.