Since lockdown Level 4 restrictions were implemented, South Africans have been allowed to exercise from 6am to 9am and these residents are making the most of it.
Every day at 7am, they gather in a quiet road in De Nova, masks on and spaced 1.5 metres apart, and start doing aerobic exercises led by Bra Stix Hlogwana, 56.
They’ve even given their club a name, “No Pain No Gain”.
Bra Stix says since the lockdown started in late March, people have been cooped up in their homes with very little opportunity to exercise.
Most of the people who joined him are mothers, with some suffering from illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure, both comorbidities that have been associated with Covid-19 deaths.
“We are about 80 people and we have members who are overweight, have high blood and diabetes and we are all here to get fit and to boost our immune systems,” says Bra Stix.
“We gather from 7am in the morning and exercise for an hour until 8am and then we walk back to Bloekombos.
“Before we disperse, we have a prayer session to ask God to take this virus away.
“There is no space in Bloekombos because the rugby field is locked.
“We are a large group, but we are practising social distancing when we exercise and wear our masks when we walk.”
Resident Magrieta Diedericks, 46, a mom of five, says the sessions are a welcome break for her.
“My daughter Chandré and I only joined on Wednesday, we’ve been cooped up in our homes for so long and now I feel I have to get back in shape before I go back to work,” she says.
Seventeen-year-old Chandré, who is in Grade 10 at Eben Donges High School, says: “This exercise is hard, but we will smile when we are in shape.”
Mom of two Liniki Quilza, 49, adds: “We don’t mind getting up early, feeling healthy will be the best reward after lockdown.”