The community of Motetema in the Elias Motsoaledi Municipality waited in anticipation to receive one of their own, Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla on Friday, 22 July 2016. The air of expectation and warm reception that Mr Makwetla received explicitly showed that he is held in high regard by the community from which he hails.
The event, which was held at a local church just a stone’s throw from Mr Makwetla’s home, was organised to donate 36 wheelchairs to disabled and elderly citizens of Motetema. The wheelchairs were assembled by offenders. These vulnerable groups of the local community were also given blankets sewn by offenders and other people in the campaign, 67 Blankets for Mandela.
The Deputy Minister appealed to the local community to forge unity and work together to bring about the positive change they want to see in their community. He stated that, “Nelson Mandela would not have become a world renowned statesman if it was not for the solidarity of the people on the ground who also played their role in fighting and dismantling the colonial apartheid regime”. He said Madiba is a symbolic figure that epitomizes the resistance of the people against colonial rule.
The locals were ecstatic following the announcement that Polokwane Management Area has adopted a local crèche which they will assist. The Management Area has also pledged to supply the crèche with vegetables at least once a week. Mr Makwetla commended DCS officials for their selfless contributions in uplifting Motetema and many other communities across the country. He concluded by underscoring the progress that DCS and government in general has made to uplift poor and vulnerable people.
Ms Caroline Mathabatha, a recipient of the department’s generosity said, “This wheelchair and blanket showed me that we still have a government that cares for the poor, elderly and disabled people”. Ms Motlago Matau’s joy was palpable as she thanked Mr Makwetla and the department because she will finally stop using crutches to help her move around.
The commemoration of International Mandela Day is recognised and celebrated by all nations under the auspices of the United Nations (UN). On this day people around the globe dedicate 67 minutes of their time to think about social solidarity and contributing towards making humankind better. A clarion call is made to all people across racial, social and economic divides to roll-up their sleeves by committing just over an hour of their time to touch and make a positive change in the lives of the less privileged.