For many members of the community, Nosipho Msiza is the calm after the storm in her neighbourhood of Tsakani in Ekurhuleni.
On Wednesday morning, she decided to share a hot hearty meal of soup, coffee and bread with the volunteers, police, soldiers and private security officers who are guarding Tsakani Mall and two other shopping centres in the area from being looted or vandalised.
And every day since, the health activist and entrepreneur has continued to share meals with over 50 volunteers twice a day, in the morning and the afternoon.
She said after she heard about the selfless volunteers who were putting their lives at risk on Monday morning she decided to offer her help.
“I felt sorry for them because they were working in cold weather conditions which were worsened by the cold front to ensure that our infrastructures are not damaged.
“These volunteers guard the centres all day and are not remunerated for their efforts,” she explained.
She said this is her way of showing gratitude to the volunteers: “Even though I am unable to join them in patrolling the shopping complexes, I appreciate their efforts.”
She added that as a token of appreciation and support she decided to help keep them warm with a cup of soup and coffee while carrying out their good deeds.
“These people are our local heroes, it is through their efforts and sacrifices that Tsakani Mall
is still standing and was not looted unlike the three shopping centres in the area and acrosst he province,” she explained.
Unfortunately, Nosipho fears that her good deeds will soon die down because she is running out of supplies because most stores in the area were looted.
“I have a fresh produce business and used most of what I had in stock for the previousd rives, I now fear we are soon going to run out.
“I am hoping some of the residents will join in and donate enough items that will see us through,” she added.
Local councillor Sipho Sibiya said it is through the good deeds by the residents that calm is restored in the area.