KNYSNA NEWS - For a 47-year-old Concordia resident, Mandela Day meant a home makeover by various role players in the community.
Neville Botha's house was the scene of much activity on Thursday 18 July when concerned youth in the area, Knysna Municipality's social development department, deputy mayor Aubrey Tsengwa, councillors Thando Matika and Welcome Sizali, Community Work Programme participants, Red Cross, Glassfit, City Paint and other community members brought new life to it by painting the walls.
Not only that, but they also installed sewerage and plan to install electricity for the man who has been cooking his meals outside on a fire.
One of the concerned youth and co-ordinator of the Mandela Day programme in the area, Asanda Fama, said they are currently busy with the iKhayalam project which is aimed at restoring dignity for people, by giving them a sense of belonging. "Sometimes people resort to alcohol and drug abuse or criminal activities because they feel they have lost their dignity and that there is no way of restoring it – even though we are not an NGO or registered in any way, we are a group of people who are concerned and are in a position to assist and where we aren't able to assist, seek help."
Botha could not be interviewed as he had an appointment at the clinic on the day and he doesn't have a phone.
Also, in the same area, Happy Kids Day Care, a creche that has been running for seven months and looks after 34 children, had toilets installed at their premises and were donated a "fake lawn" mat as their Mandela Day gift, an initiative by Sakh'ikhaya Suppliers and Contractors, deputy mayor Aubrey Tsengwa and councillor Thando Matika.
They also received stationery, tables and chairs from the councillors. The teachers and founders Nolindo Mthathambi and Linda Mbela said having the toilets installed meant that they could now apply for funding.
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