Lifeline South Africa says many people are facing mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It says it has had an unprecedented number of calls since the coronavirus lockdown started.
The counselling service says it receives over 4 000 calls daily. The same number of calls is usually recorded in a week.
National CEO of Life Line Takalo Molefi says, “People are stressed, people are experiencing anxiety, depression and all sorts of psychological abnormalities that you can think of. People are basically frustrated because they don’t know where to go when they need to ask for services, in particular, government, banks, private companies as everybody has scaled down.”
Mixed feelings about paying for school services
There are mixed feelings among parents about paying for services not rendered like school fees, extra murals and scholar transport during the national lockdown.
South Africa is on the second week of a nationwide lockdown, which has led to the closure of schools and non-essential services. Some parents want to withhold their monthly installments due to the uncertainty of the future, while others believe they are bound by contracts to pay for fees.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) April 7, 2020
Zakhele Ngwenya is a father of two, a daughter in Grade 4 and a son at crèche. He has written to the crèche owner and asked why he should pay the full amount when his son has practically been home for the whole month.
“So for April, I’m of the opinion that there might be an extension. I was trying to get a consensus with the day-care owner to say what happens should we go into May? Maybe for April, I can pay a portion where it is negotiated between the two of us. But I’m not willing to pay the full amount for zero services provided.”
Another parent says, “But the transport people, their argument is that they use this transport money to pay for their cars and their livelihood. With school fees I’m fine but with transport, it’s the one that’s killing me.”