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. ‬

Bottles collected by Mr Thwala but do not have means to take them to the recycling centre.