Home makeover for Soweto youngster
When Social Development Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu handed over a new wheelchair to Siyabonga Maphumulo last year, she made a promise to come back and help him and his family with a home that caters for his needs.
Exactly a year later, Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu came back to Maphumulo’s home in Mndeni, Soweto, to hand over the home to VGK Siyazama Construction, so that renovations to make the home wheelchair friendly and accessible can begin.
The four-week-long project will include the instalment of inside bathrooms and plumbing; levelling the yard; making the house one level; plastering and putting up a fence.
Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu said the renovations will allow Maphumulo, aged 20, to be able to move freely in the yard and be independent.
While the renovations are underway, the house furniture, which belongs to Maphumulo’s grandmother, Sophie Khumalo, will be removed and kept in storage.
“We will also take Gogo [Sophie] to [shop] for furniture… because her current furniture is falling apart. We’ll do the official handover of the house and decent furniture by end of September,” Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu told SAnews.
Managing Director of GVK Siyazama Construction, Dumisani Madi, said they undertook the project because they believe in helping people.
“It’s only fair for us as a company to assist needy people, as much as we are in business. We believe that if we work as a team, both government and private sector, the country will have a better society,” said Madi.
An overjoyed Sophie Khumalo, 71, said the renovations will make her life easier, as she has to wheel her grandson around the house and most of the time she struggles to take him to some parts of the house, as it is not levelled appropriately.
“I’ve been struggling with his disability for years and at my age, it is very difficult to manage. I’m so grateful to the Deputy Minister, I don’t even know how to express my excitement,” said Khumalo.
Last year, the Deputy Minister donated a wheelchair to Maphumulo in response to a letter written by his grandmother, asking for help for Maphumulo. The Deputy Minister, who was then Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, made a commitment to help the family. – SAnews.gov.za