KwaZulu-Natal Regional Commissioner (RC), Mnikelwa Nxele has heaped glowing praises on officials and inmates from Pietermaritzburg Management Area in KwaZulu-Natal Region, for continuing to show compassion by extending a helping hand towards the underprivileged members of the community.
This follows the handover of a modern house to Sbongile Zondi at KwaMpumuza area, in Pietermaritzburg, on 03 April 2023. The Zondi family was left homeless when their modest muddy house collapse following the devastating floods that ravaged parts of the country in April 2022, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
After seeing the ruins of his neighbour’s house, Mr Mfuniselwa Luthuli went out to seek aid from local business people. The DCS also joined hands by utilising offender labour, as part of their rehabilitation, to help restore dignity to the Zondi family. The offenders, from Pietermaritzburg Medium A Correctional Centre constructed the house using building material that were donated by stakeholders (Pelican Development & Planning, Build Rite), with Amashenge Holdings chipping in by furnishing the house.
RC Nxele described the gesture as a clear example of how DCS officials are working hard to provide offenders with critical skills that will enable them to strive when they are released and reintegrated back into the society. He further stated that the house is an emphatic demonstration that Correctional Services’ mandate goes beyond just hosting offenders, but that it extends to the Department proving support to communities when they are in need. “I encourage officials to continue upskilling the offenders and for offenders to keep doing good for the communities as it demonstrates that they have been rehabilitated and learned from their mistakes,” said RC Nxele. He also acknowledged all stakeholders who contributed in building the house.
Qiniso Zondi, an offender from Pietermaritzburg Medium A Correctional Centre, said that the gesture of giving has provoked a positive spirit in him. He further described his participation in the project as a fulfilling experience that has made him to be hopeful about the future, and what awaits him in the outside world. “it is a privilege for me to be part of this project that sees someone having a well-constructed home. The skills that are imparted to us by DCS are a great foundation to restart our lives and contribute positively in the communities,” said Zondi.
The joyful recipient of the house, Sbongile Zondi conveyed her profound appreciation to DCS and stakeholders for their generosity and for restoring the dignity of her family. Lost for words to express her joy and deep sense of gratitude, Zondi thanked God for touching her family through DCS. “I will forever be grateful and hold this gesture dearly in my heart at all times,” she said.