There was much excitement among senior citizens in the King William’s Town area when they were handed blankets by members of the ANC Wilton Mkwayi branch last Wednesday.
A total of 180 seniors from Sweetwaters, Tshatshu, Breidbach, Acorn Valley, Qalashe and Siyathemba benefited from the blanket drive.
ANC branch member Mwesi Daniso told the GO! & Express the blankets were distributed fairly across all areas of the ward.
Street committees and ward committees were instrumental in identifying the beneficiaries, Daniso said, with the focus on elderly residents who had not received blankets at previous events.
“The initiative is aimed at following a tradition adopted by the South African government and the United Nations, which declared July as Nelson Mandela Month.
“The theme for this year’s programme is to keep safe and stay at home,” Mwesi said.
“The branch noted with great concern the high number of old people departing to higher grounds because of Covid-19 and realised that we should buy them blankets to keep thems warm during this winter.”
At Sweetwaters, community healthcare workers from the department of health were utilised to educate and provide tips to senior residents on what to do and what not to do during this period in order to help flatten the curve.
“We feel proud that as the branch, we are able to find a way to give back and to give advice about Covid-19, as we are losing residents in quick succession,” said Mwesi.
His words were echoed by ward councillor and branch secretary Sixolisiwe Ntsasela.
“This is an annual event where we are showing our love and gratitude to you all for the important role that you as leaders and role models are playing to so many people and the youth within our communities,” said Ntsasela.
She added that the event was different compared to last year’s handover in Qalashe.
“This time around, we had to comply with Covid-19 regulations and would like to express our sincere apology to you for not having chairs you could sit on and for not having refreshments,” said Ntsasela.
Acorn Valley resident Nombeko Lambas attended the event on behalf of her mother Elizabeth and commended and thanked Ntsasela and her delegation for thinking about them, especially at a time when so many elderly people are succumbed due to Covid-19.
Breidbach beneficiary Kate Hendriks said she was grateful for the blanket as it would really help to keep her warm against the cold.