09 September 2021
Seskhona Media received a phone call from a community member who was concerned about the conditions in which Mr Solomon (also known as Elijah) Thwala from Leandra lived in.
On arrival at Mr Thwala’s home, Seskhona Media reporter, Ms Levhuwani Matumba accompanied by Ms Lindiwe Mbokane found that the reported situation was indeed unbearable to witness.
The 64 years old man have a stand, but do not have a shelter to sleep in.
The two-room shack do not have proper roof and the house which Babu Thwala was trying to build in incomplete, with only unfinished walls.
Mr Thwala said he had an identity document but do not know how he lost it and as such could not register for social grant.
When asked whether he sometimes benefit from food donations, Mr Thwala said “I only see people carrying food parcels and when I ask, they told me I need an identity document to benefit.”
He added that he used to survive by getting people water with a wheelbarrow at Marikana section, but he finally stopped because they did not want to pay.
Even though households around him have access to water and electricity, Mr Thwala do not have a tap in his yard and his electricity was cut out by the Nyaope guys and they stole the cables.
When he speaks, one could see that he had big dreams for his life, but things fell apart along the way.
Before we could leave, he stopped us and opened his shack and showed us what he had.
He took out his empty pot, cooked beef intestine fats which he collects from Mr Mkhwanazi when he sells to the people, two tea bags and an aromat container with salt.
“I am aware that the food I eat are not healthy and as such, when I feel like I am about to get sick, I take the leaves of Umkgalakane plant and eat them to calm my stomach.”
He even tried to have a vegetable garden in his yard, but because he do not have proper fence, goats eat his vegetable plants.
He appreciated our visit and mentioned that he will be happy if people assist him to have a shelter.
He also collects bottles for recycling but do not have means to take them to the recycling centre.
Mr Thwala’s house is situated at the first four-way-stop from Standerton Road entering Leandra.
When one is standing at the four-way-stop looking at the right-hand side will see an unfinished house. The reason for the direction is because he does not have a cellphone. Or people can contact Seskhona Newspaper for directions on 078 182 1005.