Since the announcement of the nationwide lockdown, the Newcastle Mayor, Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, has committed himself assisting struggling families, especially in the Normandien farm areas.
“As mayor and a leader of society, I committed to using half my salary to assist struggling families as a result of this global pandemic. Soon close friends, including the MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Mr. Sipho Hlomuka joined this initiative, as we were adhering to the clarion call by President Cyril Ramaphosa; which called upon us and society at large to go beyond the call of duty. We purchased food items for these families, so that they could go through these difficult times unscathed.”
During their food distribution program, Dr Mahlaba says they came across the Hadebe family. An impoverished family living on the D96 District Road.
“I was moved and taken aback by the unbearable conditions confronting this family, who share a two-bedroom house among eighteen family members, mostly consisting of very young children. Despite our efforts of purchasing and giving food parcels to them, we couldn’t sit back and watch them languish.”
On Youth Day, June 16, Dr Mahlaba said he thought it would be fitting to return to the family, spend the day and share lunch with them.
“I also saw the immediate need to purchase warm winter clothes for the kids. I’ve also committed to using my personal funds to build a home for the Hadebe family and will continue to beguile close friends to lend a hand where they can.”
Furthermore, Dr Mahlaba said during this season where colds and flu are prevalent, the children will also have access to his medical practice for a routine check-up.
“The culture and tradition of our wonderful community of Newcastle is to assist the struggling neighbour until they can help themselves. We’ve lived with this mantra and ethos for many years. The spirit of Ubuntu which was bestowed upon us by the late President Nelson Mandela continues to flourish. The impeccable work done by NGOs and businesses in this community during the Covid-19 lockdown period is incredible, and for that I thank you all.”
Looking back at the events of the Soweto Uprising, Dr Mahlaba says the youth of 1976 left us with an important mission.
This message he says, is to look after the needy and vulnerable youth in our society.
“As a leader, one can never be at peace knowing that there is a family needing proper shelter, clothing and food, especially a child-headed home. We can never betray the aspiration and vision of the youth who fought gallantly for this freedom that we enjoy today. Most importantly, as government we serve at the behest of the community and not ourselves. I felt it is important to share this with you, not for self-gratification or a pat on the back, but to highlight the importance of sharing during times of uncertainty.”
Well done to the Newcastle Mayor, Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba for reaching out to those in need.