Sobantu family gets a new lease on life this Mandela Day

AFTER years of living in a dilapidated mud house, the Sibeko family from Sobantu can finally enjoy safe living conditions, having received a donation of a new house as a part of Mandela Day celebrations.

The four-room house was donated by non-profit organisation Siyamthanda Cares who came together with ASPD Security Services and other individuals, such as Lungisani Zungu — a builder who offered to build the house for free — to make the family’s dream come true.

The family was identified by Sandile Khanyile of ASPD Security Services who alerted Siyamthanda Cares.

Nineteen year old Siyamthanda, a Miss Teen Common Wealth SA 2016 semi-finalist, works with her mother Nomfundo Madlala to run the community-based NGO which was established in 2016.

A second year student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College, Siyamthanda said it has always been her dream to assist other people.

“Helping people is something that I love and that I will continue doing.I do not want this to end here. I want my organisation to become a home where I can help more needy people one day.

“When I saw the state of the house that the family was living in, I was so heartbroken. It was not a house that a human being is supposed to be living in. That is why we decided to build a house for them. After assessing the state of their home, we posted on our Facebook page, asking for donations, and everything came together very well,” she said.

Siphiwe Sibeko, who is the owner of the house, told Echo that he was living with his three grandchildren in the old house.

“I am so excited, I cannot even explain it — I never thought I would ever see this happening. To tell you the truth, when they [Siyamthanda Cares] came and told me that they will help me build a house, I did not believe them. I am so happy that I finally have a house that is in good condition where I can live happily with my children.

“It broke my heart to see my children living in a house that was in that condition. Now we are going to live happily in our new big house. I am so grateful to Siyamthanda and everyone who contributed. I hope they continue to help other people and do not stop with us,” he said.

Siyamthanda’s mother said she is very proud of her daughter and she was very grateful that they are working together to change the lives of the people.

“I always knew that Siyamthanda loved people, and she always wants to help them, but, when she said she wanted to open an organisation, I was so thrilled.

“I am so happy that she is doing something good for the community. This organisation will also help her stay away from doing bad things,” she said.

Sobantu ward councillor Sandile Dlamini said the Sibeko family must consider themselves very lucky because it is very rare to find businesses and people who wants to contribute to the community.

“Siyamthanda is the best for doing this — the life of the Sibeko family will be changed for the better. They can now regain their confidence knowing that they have a warm home.

“I want to encourage Sibeko’s sons to take good care of this house because their father is old now. You need to make sure that this house is well taken care off even if you father is no longer alive,” he said , adding that they need to encourage programs like this one.