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The mayor handed over a house he promised 30 days ago, he kept his promise to residents.


On 16 August 2021, the Mayor of the Greater Tzaneen Municipality Councillor Maripe Mangena presided over a sod-turning ceremony signaling the commencement of the construction of a four-room house for 69-year-old Modjadji Mbhalati, the head of a family of nine living in Fobeni Village in Bolobedu South. The story of the Mbhalatis reads like a classic tragic novel of a typical African family fighting a daily struggle for survival. Gogo Mbhalati is one of many South Africans denied a path to socioeconomic liberty by the unjust apartheid system which kicked many black South Africans to the periphery of meaningful economic action and quality education. 

Her failure to register educational success of her own encouraged her to push one of her daughters to work hard to pursue academic excellence with the hope that academic success will lead the family out of poverty and elevate it to the middle class far away from the daily struggle of bread and water. Her daughter's commitment secured her employment at one of the many government agencies giving her and her family a chance for a better life but Gogo Mbhalati's hope soon turned into despair and misery when her only successful child lost her life to thugs who even burnt her body with acid. 

Just after her daughter's death her own house caught fire and burnt to ashes in what she describes as "mysterious". She and her grandchildren left behind by her departed mother struggle to make ends meet, but her suffering remained largely unknown to so many people outside her inner circle until images of her two grandchildren covered in cardboard boxes began circulating leading to outage and shock to those who encountered the heartbreaking pictures. Upon discovering the images, Mayor Mangena sprung into action. 

Due to the urgency of the situation, the Mayor reached a deal with the good Samaritans from the International Cathedral Church to build the Mbhalatis a house in the shortest time possible without compromising the quality. It's was on 16 August 2021 and fast-forward to 16 September 2021, exactly a month from the day of the sod-turning a beautiful house greets the Mayor and his entourage as they step off their vehicles. As the Mayor alluded, the success of the project is a classic example of effective public-private partnership(PPP). 

"Today we have restored the dignity of this family," said the Mayor as He handed over keys to an excited "religious" Modjadji Mbhalati. This is a happy ending to an otherwise tragic story but unfortunately, there are many in a similar position or worse, and just like the Mayor said, the church and those with a little to spare must come in, government alone cannot reach out to everyone. Well, besides the happy ending, the delivery of the house within the 30 days time frame as promised is a sign of hope, hope that not all promises are broken or used as coercion. The story of Gogo Mbhalati is a story of hope and generosity.

Content created and supplied by: khutsiso (via Opera News )

Fobeni Village Gogo Mbhalati Greater Tzaneen Maripe Mangena Mbhalatis


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