Fri Oct 21 15:17:35 SAST 2016

Relief for desperate villagers

By unknown | Feb 09, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

The hungry villagers who had spent a week without food glowed with jubilation when officials of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) came to their rescue.

Residents of Mankele village in Penge outside Burgersfort cried tears of joy when agency officials delivered food parcels last week.

A helicopter had to be used to deliver the items because the area had been cut off from the outside world because of the overflowing Lepelle River. The river has been filled to the top of its banks since the start of the torrential rains last month.

Most of the villagers had spent a week without having a decent meal.

The village has no clinic, proper roads, electricity, transport, toilets, cellphone reception or shops.

The only two schools in the village, Mankele Primary and Segashife Secondary, have been closed since last Monday.

This after teachers coming from areas outside the village were forced to make use of a makeshift cable to cross the river.

Last week, three people who almost drowned were rescued by passersby.

The only teacher who lives in the village, James Motsetse, was unable to teach the 1700 primary and secondary pupils alone.

Motsetse said it was not yet known when the schools would be reopened.

Kelemogile Moseki, Sassa spokesman in Limpopo, said every time it rained they were forced to use a helicopter to deliver social grants to the village.


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