Destitute, desperate and jobless


Selma Ikela

Groot Aub-Jobless, without food to eat, destitute and desperate is the story of a 45-year-old man and his family at Groot Aub.

Yet Funa Jantjies says he registered for drought relief food but has not received the food he applied for from the government.

Groot Aub settlement is situated about 60 km south of Windhoek and has an estimated population of 20 000 due to a recent influx of new residents.

Jantjies sits outside his matchbox shack and follows the shade from the structure as the day progresses. He sits in the company of his two sons.

Jantjies’ unemployed partner is inside their shack taking an afternoon nap. It’s about lunchtime and instinctively Jantjies faces the fire spot but there is nothing to cook for the day. “We have nothing to eat and it’s likely that we will sleep on empty stomachs today,” said Jantjies, who added that he had registered for drought relief but did not get any response.

He said should he become a recipient he would be happy as his children would have something to eat daily.

“It’s my son’s fourth birthday tomorrow (Sunday) but I don’t have anything to give him,” remarked Jantjies as he pointed to his older son.

Jantjies said there is no formal work available at the settlement and as a result he survives on doing odd jobs. He fetches water and collects firewood for residents and earns N$30 for each job. Water in Groot Aub only runs after every third day and that’s when he mostly earns a little money. On a good day, Jantjies earns about N$90.
He added he also rakes people’s yards for food.

With the little income Jantjies buys food and spoils his children with sweets and chips.
Windhoek Rural Constituency Councillor Penina Iita dismisses Jantjies’ story. She said Jantjies has not visited their office as there are officials who, after an individual registers for food, make an assessment of the person’s needs.

“There is drought relief every month. Why doesn’t he come and state his case. I would like to have his details. Government said no one should go to bed hungry,” said Iita.


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