As part of honouring former president Nelson Mandela’s values, the department, in partnership with Alimdaad Foundation donated school backpacks, hygiene packs and winter caps to 80 pupils from Kwasa Primary School in Dimbaza.
Amongst them were 50 elderly citizens from the Dimbaza Society for the Aged, an old age home in Dimbaza. The elders received blankets and winter caps from the department.
Mawethu Kaya from Buffalo City Metro Municipality welcomed everyone in the event, saying he was thankful to the Hon. MEC Pemmy Majodina for choosing Dimbaza and its people to be part of the Mandela month celebrations.
Bukiwe Fanta who was the programme director highlighted that “In the past years people around South Africa relocated to Dimbaza to work in the industrial factories. Since the shutdown of these factories, it has negatively affected lives of the communities”. She further said, “Unemployment has contributed to increase in gender based violence and other crimes”.
The Hon. MEC, while addressing those in attendance, acknowledged the sponsors Alimdaad Foundation, the principal of the school, pupils, the elderly, political representatives and National Youth Developmental Agency (NYDA). She told those who attended that she appreciated them for “Being of part of the important event of changing the lives of other people”.
She further informed them that the gathering was special as it also celebrated the former statesman’s 100th birthday and the upcoming 100th birthday of liberation struggle stalwart Mama Albertina Sisulu.
The MEC later handed out gifts to jubilant pupils who each received a hygiene pack containing aqueous cream, toothpaste, roll-on, face cloth, sanitary towels and petroleum jelly. Their school bag gifts had a pen, pencil, ruler, a writing pad and wool hat.
The MEC apologised to those in attendance, saying due to budgetary constraints, only a selected few were to receive their gifts on the day. The elders from the center each received a blanket and wool cap.
People from the Dimbaza Disability Center were also given blankets and wool caps, which were later delivered on the day, as many of them were unable to attend the event.
Princess Faku from NYDA, enlightened the youth about opportunities that the agency offers, saying those who are assisted must be between the ages of 14 and 35 years, who want to be entrepreneurs or to further their studies. Faku said such people can receive funding from her agency of up to R10 000. She encouraged youth to apply for these opportunities, to minimise the rate of unemployment and to better their lives.
Somila Mikoko, a pupil from Kwasa Primary, speaking on behalf of the school, thanked the Hon. MEC and the department for their kind gesture. “We thank you so much for the gifts we have just received, especially during the period where we are celebrating Tata Mandela’s birthday. That shows love and unity,” said Somila Mikoko.
By: Akhona Zondeka and Nokuzola Mbuqe