Free masks for D6WC

Danolene Johanessen of Restore SA, handed out masks to children from Heideveld.

The community of Fiona Court, Heideveld, and members of the District 6 Working Committee (D6WC) have received reusable cotton masks made from hotel linen.  

Marriott International has made funding and 1 000 sheets available to make 4 300 cloth masks.

“Of these, 3 300 have been donated to the community and the volunteers of D6WC to ensure that they remain protected and are able to continue with the great work that they do. The remainder will be used by Marriott International associates at the regional offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg to ensure they are able to safely return to their positions,” said Volker Heiden, the hotel group’s Sub-Saharan Africa deputy president.

The masks were handed over on Thursday July 2, in Heideveld.

The cloth masks were made by Restore SA Pty Ltd. Last year, Marriott International and Restore SA provided 2 300 school shirts to schools across the country as part of the Sheets for Shirts initiative.

The D6WC supports former residents of District Six and their descendants, who are spread across communities in the Cape Flats, as well as all historically disadvantaged communities in achieving urban restitution.

During the lockdown, the group of over 3 500 members has held soup kitchens and youth development programmes in areas such as Hanover Park, Mitchell’s Plain, Manenberg and Retreat.

The group’s spokeswoman Karen Breytenbach said: “We have a large grassroots base on the Cape Flats and have for many years been involved in community support initiatives to assist the vulnerable and dispossessed communities. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, we already had established informal soup kitchens on the ground, managed by seasoned field workers, who could feed and assist vulnerable communities in many areas.”

The organisation partnered with other community groups and organisations to form People Are People (PAP). 

“Our PAP community leaders jumped into action right away and have worked tirelessly for the past 10 weeks to serve their communities in the face of the pandemic. Collectively, during lockdown our 10 main sites served more than 6 000 to 10 000 community members a day, depending on the level of resources and donations available to them at any given time. They rely on the kindness of donors and are beyond grateful for the masks that are being donated by Marriott International properties. These masks will go to the most vulnerable members of the District 6 Working Committee – we are prioritising the old, frail and sick who are in need of protection. Our communities are at the coalface of this pandemic, and they need all the support they can get, to get through this difficult time,” Ms Breytenbach said.