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Ramokonopi community puts a smile on elderly man’s face

The Ward 59 Clr, KhumbuIle Msimango, said her office will ensure that all required stakeholders and government departments are made aware of the elderly man’s living conditions.

The community of Ramonkonipi Section in Katlehong joined hands with the Mitambo Sports Academy (MSA) to clean the home of 83-year-old Pieter Motaung for Mandela Day, on July 18.

Motaung relies on a walking stick to move around, and it is difficult for him to do certain things.

In four decades of residing at Katlehong, Motaung has developed a good relationship with other residents. He heavily relies on them for assistance on the things he cannot do for himself, like shopping and home chores.

MSA and the Ward 59 community dedicated 67 minutes to cleaning his home and painting the door and window frames.

According to the chairperson of Ali Modisenyane, Motaung is one of the oldest residents of Ramokonopi. They all grew up in front of him.

He said he used to be a plumber in the community, very kind and respectful.

Residents fix and paint the window frames.

“We choose to spend the day with Motaung because he was an active member of our community during his early days,” said Modisenyane.

He said he avails himself when Motaung needs him to go to the shop for him, not only because he lives alone, but because other people attempt to rob him of his money.

He further noted Motaung struggles to walk a distance, and getting to the police station and the clinic is a challenge for him.

“I used to clean for Motaung but realized that my workload has increased and I needed help. I thought of inviting the community to help me put a smile on Motaung’s face.”

Community members clean Pieter Motaung’s home.

Executive director of MSA Evon Zuma said every day should be a Mandela Day as she described the atmosphere.

“People presented the Ubuntu spirit, donated pre-loved curtains and pots. Some prepared food for him.”

She said as a fairly new organisation they have little and depend on donations.

“We are waiting for a sponsor who promised to provide them with paint, and hope to paint the house on Friday,” said Zuma.

The Ward 59, ANC Clr, KhumbuIle Msimango, applauded the organisation for their gesture.

She said they informed her of Motaung’s living conditions on July 17, when they invited her.

“We had another cleaning project at school but when MSA explained the mkhukulu’s situation, I decided to come to see him and access the situation,” said Msimango.

Ward 59 community members during the cleaning campaign at Pieter Motaung located at Ramokonopi Section, Katlehong.

She said there is a lot to be done, citing that they have to understand Mataung’s challenges in terms of his health and environment.

“A clean house is the first step, but they need to do a proper assessment to establish all his needs so that we can know how best can help him,“ she explained.

“We cannot do this alone. We have to involve the Department of Social Development (DSD). We will arrange for someone from DSD to assist him. We will also invite sister Kedibone from the Ramokonopi Clinic to assist. She is passionate about issues that touch senior citizens and abuse victims.”

Mataung appreciated the community members for their continued support as he explained that, besides this special day, community members check on him often.

“Some of them visit randomly for me to have someone to talk to. I am happy to have such respectful people around me because it is visible that I am old now,” he concluded.

Background

MSA is a sports academy formed in 2022 and aimed to remove children from the streets to prevent substance and drug abuse through sports activities like soccer, netball, basketball and cricket.

They also have school classes where they assist the children with homework.

MSA executives include Modisenyane Zuma, director George Ntinse, secretary Teboho Kekana, coach Ramodise, and treasurer Aphane Moetswadi.

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