Domestic worker gives away nearly half her salary to help struggling families

Judy Murambinda.

By Joseph Chirume — Originally published in GroundUp

A domestic worker in Johannesburg has donated R3 000 of her R7 500-a-month salary to families in distress because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Zimbabwean national Judy Murambinda used the money to assist other Zimbabweans in trouble. She said immigrants should help each other when living away from home.

Murambinda, who came to South Africa in 2009, was touched by desperate calls for assistance from fellow Zimbabweans who posted messages on social media platform Facebook asking for donations of food and other basic necessities.

She told Groundup that she decided to use R3 000 of her salary to buy electricity and food for gardeners, domestic workers and street hawkers who she said were bearing the brunt of Covid-19 lockdown. Many said their employers were not paying them during the lockdown.

She paid amounts of up to R200 using an e-wallet system.

“I normally donate my monthly tithe to the church but this month I couldn’t do that due to the lockdown. I ended up spending more money than I pay to my church after I received numerous requests from desperate people.”

Beneficiary Nicholas Tapfumaneyi wrote: “Hello people I got assistance through this post.Thanks.”

Nqobile Nepare said,”Thank you Judy, I got help from your post. God bless you.”

Thousands of immigrants are battling to pay for food and rent as they can not go out to work due to the lockdown and they cannot get food parcels which the Department of Social Development only offers to holders of a valid South African identity document.

Emelda Mikayla of Pretoria wrote: “I have run out of cash and food to feed my six-year-old baby. I haven’t eaten for two days and my landlord is kicking me out for failing to pay rent in full. I paid R1 500 and still owe them money. Please assist, I am under stress.”

Empress Mimi Mimzoe from Witbank wrote: “I am in need of any amount for rent. I lost my job recently.”

Murambinda has compiled a database of other people in need of assistance and promised to help if she finds sponsors.

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