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Kouga-Express
Madiba magic at homeless shelter

GOVERNMENT spheres joined hands on Friday to share some Madiba magic with residents being housed at the temporary homeless shelter in Jeffreys Bay.

The programme took place on the eve of International Nelson Mandela Day, celebrated annually on July 18.

Leaders from the East Cape Legislature, Sarah Baartman District Municipality and Kouga Municipality visited the shelter to hand out blankets, sanitiser, cloth masks and food parcels to those still being housed at the facility.

Among the delegation was East Cape MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts & Culture, Fezeka Bayeni, who said the COVID-19 pandemic was a reminder of how important it was for communities, government and other roleplayers to stand together.

“The pandemic has caused great fear and anxiety among communities, but we will triumph if we stand together in solidarity,” she said.

Sarah Baartman District Executive Mayor, Eunice Kekana, said caring for one another was now more important than ever.

“Nelson Mandela laid the foundation and it is now up to each one of us to build on that.”

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, reaffirmed the municipality’s commitment to supporting those who are destitute.

“You have not been forgotten and will not be cast aside,” he said.

He said the temporary shelter had been set up by Kouga and its community partners ahead of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown in March to care for those who had no place to go.

Up to 80 people, young and old, were housed at the shelter during the first weeks of lockdown. With the easing of the nationwide COVID-19 restrictions, the number has since decreased to 35.

Hendricks said the municipality, the Department of Social Development and community partners were currently working on a long-term solution to continue supporting those at the shelter.

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