The team moves to the location where the families live; armed police and barbed wire adds to the tense atmosphere. Children, obviously traumatised emotionally by the unpleasant events of the past few weeks break into tears when asked to collect items brought for them; the fear, the anxiety, the uncertainty is palpable. Supportive words of encouragement from the mothers and suddenly an incredulous expression of joy permeates the atmosphere; "lambile, lambile, lambile" (we are hungry), they shout and grab the juice and biscuits with gratifying satisfaction. They don't have money, the uncertainty of when the wage dispute will be resolved and the aggravation of debt incurred through loan sharks adds to the anxiety. These are a people in great need; hungry, distressed, anxious and scared.
We hand out the supplies, engage them, reassure them and promise them that bigger things are on the way come Sunday, 9 September 2012.
Trucks carrying 15 degs (huge cooking pots) of hot, prepared meals and other supplies including blankets and food parcels are on the way to Marikana as we transmit this broadcast. Teams will set up camp, generators, lights and feed through the night today.
These people need our assistance and kind words. A play area for children including the provision of colouring books, paints and soft toys will be functional tomorrow.
For those wanting to support the campaign call toll-free 0800786911.