HUMAN DIGNITY FOR HEBE-HEBE VILLAGERS RESTORED
SUNDAY, 20 JULY 2014
The political leadership of Amathole District Municipality [ADM], the newly established national Department of Water and Sanitation office and Mnquma Local Municipality joined hands in honour and memory of the late Nelson Mandela. Marking 67 years of Madiba's contribution to public service, the entourage which also included ADM staff members, helped restore the human dignity of Hebehebe when they ventured into an extraordinary business of physically building 67 ablution facilities for the communities therein.
The intervention that was received with great ecstasy and ululation, benefited 77 families who for the first time will enjoy decent ablution facilities. ADM Executive Mayor Nomasikizi Konza in the company of Deputy Minister for Water and Sanitation Honourable Pamela Tshwete and Mnquma Local Municipality Mayor Baba Ganjana, were hard at work building the facilities that are sure to improve living conditions of Hebehebe villagers.
Also partaking in erection of the structures was ADM management and staff led by the Municipal Manager Chris Magwangqana.
As the toilets were handed over to the beneficiaries, relief of having an ablution facility was evident in community members' faces. Previously, the villagers used bushes and ploughing fields to help themselves. Addressing the community of Hebe-Hebe that gathered at the local school ADM Executive Mayor Nomasikizi Konza certified the construction of toilets in the area as an integral part of celebrating the life of Madiba.
" The Mandela Day is a day that will forever be part of our history. The [erecting of ablution structures) initiative contributes to restoring the dignity of the villagers," said Konza. Reaching out to the communities and emphasising the importance of Ubuntu, she added that helping one another should not be a once off thing. "Every minute should be a Mandela minute," she said.
One of the beneficiaries, Muriel Nondyebo Joya, could not hide her feeling of gratitude. Asked what she would do if she were to see Mandela now that an ablution facility has been erected on her property in Madiba's memory Joya said: "I would definitely hug and kiss him".
Addressing the various teams before their departure to various households at Hebe-Hebe, Tshwete said their presence in the area is also another way of thanking those that voted for the ruling party in the rural areas during the previous elections.
"Before I came here I consulted with those that are in power and was told that I must immensely thank you for voting for the ruling party. This comes after we realised that people from rural areas are the ones that voted ANC at an alarming rate as a result a decision has been taken to prioritise service delivery in such areas," said Tshwete.
ADM Municipal Manager Chris Magwangqana echoed the Deputy Minister as he did not mince his words when describing the intervention.
"Creating better lives for all our people is a fulfillment of the Freedom Charter" he said.
A 50 year old villager Mnikeli Gelebhe said, “these decent facilities are the first of a kind in the area. I am over the moon by this initiative.”
The Deputy Minister also said since the inception of her newly established department, they have introduced a programme known as "Adopt a River Campaign".
She said 25 women have been trained on issues that are related to the cleaning and monitoring of rivers. "As black people we tend to undergo a number of cultural activities so there is a great need to clean our rivers," she said. Tshwete said they are planning to run the programme for a set period and will thereafter hand it over to the municipalities.
The 18th of July marks the celebrations of the internationally observed Mandela Day. This historic day enjoins millions of South Africans and the international community, in life changing and nation building activities in honour of South Africa's first democratic President and International icon, "Isithwalandwe" u-Tata Nelson Mandela.
Preceding the building of toilets was the cleaning of Gcuwa River where community members picked up litter in correlation with ADM message of building clean and hygienic communities.
The heartwarming day was ended with singing of a Happy Birthday song for Tata.
1. HEBE-HEBE HANDOVER: Clockwise: ADM Executive Mayor Nomasikizi Konza, Muriel Nondyebo Joya (beneficiary), Mnquma LM Mayor Baba Ganjana and Department of Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister Pamela Tshwete
2. HEBE-HEBE ERECTION OF STRUCTURE, Ralph Ronald Links in Blue Overalls and Red Safety Gloves ( L ) and ADM Municipal Manager Chris Magwangqana ( R )
Issued by the Amathole District Municipality's Communications & Customer Care Unit.
For more information, contact Media Relations and Communications Manager, Siyabulela Makunga at 072 768 0238, E-mail: