Simangele has been given help and hope

Simangele Mavundla

I AM writing to report back on the sad case of Simangele Mavundla (63) which was recently reported in your newspaper.

Readers may remember that Simangele was living in a shack without a roof and during the winter conditions was experiencing extreme distress.

A large part of the problem was that she did not have an ID book and so could not access the social services that she and her son so desperately needed.

ALSO READ: Woman (60) struggles to get an ID

Some of the generous and compassionate people of Pinetown sent in donations to assist her but the Highway Mail does not have an account that could be used and the Rotary Club of Pinetown was approached to help, which we readily did.

The second half of the request was not so easy; ‘please supervise the spending of the funds collected’.

We have no experience in building informal dwellings but we do have a close working relationship with the St Clement’s Home-based Care in the area and they came to the rescue.

We visited Simangele, they did an assessment, she now visits their centre regularly for hot cooked food and her health is monitored.

Simangele is very grateful for all the help she has received and is constantly thanking all the staff.

Establishing that the area where the shack is located is not due for clearance or hampered by other legalities took a little longer.

ALSO WATCH: Clermont woman’s ID nightmare continues

While we were waiting for this to happen, on Friday 18 August, one of the amazing staff at St Clements organised an ID book for her.

Special thanks go the helpful staff at the Clermont Office of Home Affairs who went above and beyond the call of duty to help.

After 62 years of waiting Simangile can now apply for a pension and thanks to the generosity of the people of Pinetown, her living conditions will soon be improved.

Margaret Keogh

Rotary Club of Pinetown president


ED: The Highway Mail began reporting about Simangele’s misery in 2014. Simangele has led a difficult life and survives by selling cardboard boxes and washing clothes. Her 27-year-old son can also not get a job because he also does not have an ID. In 2012, her shack burnt down and she was left with only the clothes she was wearing. We are always amazed and so grateful for what our community does to help each other. In this case we thank the Rotary Club of Pinetown and the staff at the Clermont Office of Home Affairs.



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Margaret Keogh, Rotary Club of Pinetown president

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