The private sector and other individual Samaritans seem to be difference-makers in fighting hunger during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Showing up when needed most was Tewo Building & Civil Constructors site manager Sithandazile Mahlangu and Pastor Ncedisile Naika, who is also a local entrepreneur, who dug into their own pockets to buy food for 20 families in Ward 9.
Mahlangu manages the company that renovated Nemato Police Station.
Speaking on behalf of the donors, Ward 9 councillor Siyabulela Melani detailed how the donation came about.
“I realised that I had to do something because it was hard to see struggling families. As a believer and someone who wants to revive the spirit of ubuntu in my ward, I decided to ask for donations from people whom I know could open their hands and give to those needy families. Both Pastor Naika and Mahlangu responded very positively to my request and from our discussions they were willing to help me even in other matters which are related to giving to the people of Ward 9,” Melani said.
He said the two men gave him money on May 12 and food distribution took place two days later. Melani used that day in between to revisit a list he had submitted to SASSA in order to select deserving families who were left out by SASSA after they reached their targeted number.
Melani explained why he chose to use the initial list. “We did not want to start a new list. We made our list unique because we ensured that there are no social grant recipients in that list but only needy people without any source of income,” he said.
Melani further added that his criteria was not different from the one used by Ndlambe Municipality to distribute food vouchers. Melani went on to highlight that he was hands-on in the processes. “The only difference is that I am in charge of selecting people since I work with them, so I know needy families in my ward,” he said.
Melani showered the two donors with praise. “I am thankful to have them as the first people to revive the spirit of ubuntu in my ward. What is done by these people is something important for the community, and if we can have more people like them, we will have less burden in our community. What I am emphasising when I speak is ubuntu, the spirit of giving and unity in my ward 9,” he said.