No sooner had a rural Limpopo woman who gave birth to triplets appealed to Good Samaritans to help her raise the babies than the health and social development department said it would take care of them.
The impoverished woman, Joyce Elizabeth Matlou, 37, of Lehlareng village, in the Sekgopo area, gave birth to three baby girls in the Kgapane hospital a fortnight ago. Matlou and nurses at the hospital celebrated the arrival of the babies.
Despite being frail after giving birth, Matlou danced and sang to show her gratitude for the babies. She named them Moyahabo Praise, Malefo Pershy and Matsie.
But Matlou's elation was shortlived when she realised that she would not be able to give the children "a normal life" because of her poverty.
"I am happy that I gave birth to three beautiful girls.
"But I have realised that they are not going to be able to enjoy life because of my impoverished background," she said, with tears rolling down her cheeks.
Matlou is unemployed and lives with her elderly mother, who does not receive a pension.
Her brother went job hunting a few years ago and did not return. She depends on child-support grants for her other children, aged 10 and 14.
Matlou said her husband was in Gauteng looking for work.
"I am appealing for financial assistance to help me build a house for the children and to raise them properly."
That was when the spokesman for the provincial health and social development department, Phuti Seloba, said the government was prepared to take care of the children and their mother.
"It is the duty of our department and government to make sure the children and their mother are well taken care of and live a better life," he said.
The babies will not be able to leave hospital for some time because they are still under-weight.
Moyahabo Praise weighs 1,8kg, Malefo Pershy 1,7kg and Matsie 1,9kg.
According to Seloba, a baby should weigh at least 2,5kg before going home from hospital.