After a long summer of living in a one-room shack with a leaking roof and occasional flooding, Nobuzwe Lwane looks forward to a much warmer winter.
Last year The Rep published a story about Lwane, 60, who lived in a one-roomed shack in Ezibeleni with her three daughters and eight grandchildren.
This week, after months of waiting, she had a new three-bedroom shack built for her and her family.
“I am in awe and amazement. This is the sort of thing you never expect to happen to you.
“I am laughing because I do not know any other way to express how I feel. To see so many people come here and work hard to help us, to me that is just God smiling on us,” said an overjoyed Lwane.
The intervention for the family was organised by local civil society group Komani4Me, which was informed about the condition of the family by Themba Zwane, who owns a pigsty near where Lwane lived.
Chairman of Komani4Me, Lihai Bercovich, said the succour was the result of many people who worked on a voluntary basis, while others donated material.
“Last year a Komani4Me champion identified their desperate situation and volunteered to lead the project. It has taken time due to so many different stakeholders all operating on a voluntary basis helping him. We just helped co-ordinate and publicise it, attracting more people to become involved.
“Like many others, the family has no way to connect to electricity or running water. Komani people have big hearts and can ease the enormous suffering among the poorest of the poor and transform their situation to one of hope. It is fantastic to see the family’s new home almost compete now. Our volunteer efforts extended to trying to ensure that gogo Lwane was visited by field social workers who filled in the necessary forms. Sassa played its part, delivering school uniforms.
Along with the new home, Lwane’s grandchildren have new school uniforms and now she waits for her Sassa card for old age pension from the department of social development.
Last year, after being made aware of the condition of the family, the department committed itself to giving them food parcels along with the uniform.
Spokesperson for the department, Siphumelele Mdyodyo, said they were committed to helping the family. “It is crucial to note that the case received our utmost attention. The department promised to assist the family with social relief of distress.
“After receiving the case, social workers visited the family to conduct an assessment which revealed that the family was struggling. Procurement processes by Sassa are underway and a social worker is continuously making follow-ups.
“The department remains committed to its promise to support all distressed families and appreciates all the hard work by the Komani4Me initiative. Our doors are open to anyone wishing to report or assist a poverty-stricken family,” he said.