help at long last
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for social development Meshack Hadebe has promised a new home to a destitute and disabled mother and her five children.
The family have been living in abject poverty after the death of their breadwinner.
Hadebe said the house would be built in the next three months.
He visited the Magwaza family in KwaMpumuza, near Pietermaritzburg, yesterday after Sowetan highlighted the family's predicament on Monday.
Jabulile Hadebe-Magwaza and her family have been in dire straits since her husband, Mehlo Magwaza, died in October.
Despite her medical condition, Hadebe-Magwaza, 54, cannot access a disability grant because she is unable to get to a doctor or a hospital.
Hadebe said: "I would like to assure you that I have already spoken to local chief Nsikayezwe Zondi and he has agreed to donate a piece of land on which we will build a new house for you and your family.
"We cannot as a social development department fold our arms while people live under such conditions. Anything could happen in this dilapidated house if it rains heavily," said Hadebe.
Hadebe also donated R500 and food parcels his department had brought for the family.
Three children, who had dropped out of school because they had no money for school fees or food, returned to classes yesterday.
Hadebe also warned the family's 21-year-old son to behave. He allegedly becomes violent towards his mother when he is drunk.
Hadebe said if need be, he would personally apply for a court order to prevent the young man from approaching his mother.
Neighbours and the other siblings told Hadebe that the man came home drunk and demanded food, though he knew there was nothing to eat.
"I urge members of the community to look after this family and if you suspect anything is not right, give me a shout and I will ensure that we keep him in his rightful place, which is prison.
"We cannot raise a generation that does not care about their parents," said Hadebe.
Hadebe-Magwaza, who will be receiving a grant for the first time shortly, could only say: "May you do the same for other people who are in the same situation."
Hadebe also thanked the Sowetan for exposing the family's plight and bringing it to the attention of his department.
"You are the real eyes and ears of society. Keep up the good work," he said.