Four men from Nyanga in the Western Cape have started a business to queue for township residents at government facilities known to have long lines.
They charge R50 per person and also charge R10 to accompany people who go to work before dawn, as Nyanga is known for its high crime rate – and they hope to expand their business to surrounding townships.
“We are here to help communities wake up very early in the morning to go to long lines at Home Affairs, SASSA and clinics,” says Bahle Ngqula, 21, from White City in Nyanga, Cape Town. .
Ngqula is one of four men who started a business called Thumamina Sikuyele by lining up on behalf of their customers at facilities known for its winding lines and long wait times. They charge R50 per customer.
On a typical day, they start lining up at 3 a.m. “We were tired of sitting in the township and doing nothing. I have heard residents complain about having to wake up early… Many visit these departments all week without being helped due to the long lines, ”said Ngqula.
GroundUp joined Ngqula and Siyabonga Maganesi, 28, and Welile Ndlambe, 35, as they lined up for SASSA clients in Gugulethu on Wednesday. “While we were busy with our customers, we had more people who were last in the line. We’ll be lining up for them tomorrow.
He said there is a limit to how people can queue because the departments issue two queue cards per person. “We are planning to meet with security guards to explain to them that we are working, so at least they have to give us three cards,” he said.
Maganesi told GroundUp that the money they earn helps them put food on the table for their families. He said they charge R10 to walk people to work early in the morning due to the high crime rate, especially when it is dark.
Ndlambe said: “Our customers phone us and tell us where they want us to line up for them. If we can get bikes, we’ll even line up for them at the banks, but the challenge is transportation. We push and hope someone will help us.
He said more unemployed youth should try to do things that will improve their lives instead of taking the easy way out.
“Maybe we will have people in other townships because we have already had calls from people in Khayelitsha and Lower Crossroads, to name a few,” he said.
Lindiwe Patuleni, 50, a resident of Gugulethu, said she supports Thumathina Sikuyel’s team. “We will support them because they don’t rob people, from now on I will use them whenever I want to go to places where there are long queues,” she said.
By Buziwe Nocuze. This article was originally published by GroundUp, read the original here.
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