A visibly emotional Nkanini resident, Lindiwe Dyalivane, could not contain her emotions when ward 95 councillor Ayanda Tetani together with his community leaders and ANC youth league members at Nelson Mandela branch demolished her dilapidated shack and rebuilt it on Monday July 17.
When Vukani visited the place, community leaders and residents were in high spirits whilst they were hard at work rebuilding Ms Dyalivane’s new shack which has no holes and looks much better than her old one.
The leaders raised funds and also took money from their own pockets to buy new building material.
These leaders did this as part of honouring 67 minutes of celebrating the late former statesman Nelson Mandela which is honoured on July 18 across the country.
The 54-year-old unemployed mother said her two-roomed shack was riddled with holes and she did not have any means to fix it or get another.
She said for years she had been longing to at least have her shack rebuilt as she is unable to get herself a decent shack.
She shared the two rooms with four children and she is unable to walk due to the fact that she is extremely overweight.
“I have no words to describe how I feel. This might seem like nothing important but to me it means everything. I can’t afford to buy a house but my only hope that I had was at least to have this shack of mine rebuilt so that it could be decent. To everyone else this is shack but to me it is my house and home for my children and grandchildren.
“I now look forward to living in a place that does not leak and looks decent like a proper house. I just cannot express my feelings and I absolutely have no words to thank everyone who thought of me out of the many needy people in this area,” she said.
Ms Dyalivane said the ward councillor first visited her place in 2019 and he was not a councillor at that time and said to her that the first thing she needed was a toilet as she is unable to walk.
She said she never gave that much thought because politicians make promises they cannot fulfil but later on he made sure that she had a flushing toilet inside her shack and now this. She said she feels blessed to have a ward councillor who truly cares for his people and wished that other councillors would follow suit.
Mr Tetani said when he learnt about her living conditions he realised the urgent need at the time was the toilet and he raised funds so that it could be installed.
He said the leaders then came together and decided to raise funds so that they could buy her new material and build a new house from scratch.
“As leaders we are tasked with the biggest responsibility of changing the lives of the people we lead and we must not call ourselves leaders – our work must show that.
“I’m glad that we have at least changed someone’s life for the better and the glory is not ours but it goes to the almighty who gives us the strength and those who chose us to lead them,” he said.