The perilously curvy and mountainous road leading to Mzenge village in the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality, Eastern Cape was a hive of activities as correctional officials descended on the village to join locals to witness a handover of a new four-roomed house to the 93-year old Ms Harriet Mfolozi.
The initiative to build the house was the brainchild of three officials and two former officials of the department. An official from Kokstad Correctional Centre, Mduduzi Sibidla visited Umakhulu Mfolozi at her home which she shares with her grandson, Paul Mfolozi. After seeing the deplorable state of the two-roomed mud house in which they lived, Sibidla promised to mobilise resources needed to build them a house suitable for human habitation. Mr Sibidla’s pledge triggered a series of events that would culminate in Umakhulu Mfolozi being handed a fully tiled and furnished house in the full glare of excited community members. This feat was achieved with the help of DCS, a local church called House of Fire Ministries and local business people.
The department provided offender labour by getting eight (8) offenders from Lusikisiki Correctional Centre to provide their services. The building project commenced around July this year. Paul’s demeanour was visibly upbeat and joyous as he tried to explain how the gesture would change their lives for the better. “I feel honoured and blessed because I witnessed my grandmother toil and work hard for many years, but eventually she will get to experience living in a decent house of her own,” he said.
The 30-year old unemployed grandson thanked the department and sponsors who came on board to ensure the successful delivery of their new family house. The frail-looking yet visibly touched Umakhulu Mfolozi profusely thanked all contributors for their generosity and goodwill. Even frequent showers could do little to dampen the people’s mood as they celebrated with the Mfolozi family with song and dance. Sponsors who contributed to make Umakhulu’s dream a reality include Sanlam Sky, AL’s Hardware, Build-It Hardware and AB Crushers.
The department also donated three wheelchairs to members of the local community whose mobility is constrained due to disability and advanced age. The Mayor of Ingquza Hill Local Municipality, Patrick Mdingi and Mthatha Area Commissioner Eric Nweba presided over the handover of the house.