Msunduzi trio act above call of duty

2016-06-16 11:00
Msunduzi municipal workers (from left) Siyabonga Ndabele, Gugu Kanyile and Thabile Mnikathi have gone the extra mile on numerous occasions to help needy people. Yesterday the trio cleaned and painted the home of an elderly woman living in Krishnan Road.

Msunduzi municipal workers (from left) Siyabonga Ndabele, Gugu Kanyile and Thabile Mnikathi have gone the extra mile on numerous occasions to help needy people. Yesterday the trio cleaned and painted the home of an elderly woman living in Krishnan Road. (Kailene Pillay, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Three Msunduzi municipal workers are going above the call of duty by assisting the poor and elderly who wander into their office.

The trio, whose offices are situated near the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) office in the northern suburbs, said people often discuss their plight with them, mistaking the office for that of Sassa.

“We welcome them into our office and try not to turn our backs on them. We do not want to fit the stereotype of unhelpful government workers passing the buck,” said Gugu Kanyile, facilitator of the municipal area-based office.

Kanyile and her co-workers, Siyabonga Ndabele and Thabile Mnikathi, have listened to the plight of many people and said they could not turn their backs on them. From buying groceries with money out of their own pockets, to painting and cleaning an elderly woman’s house, these municipal workers have silently done their bit for the community.

“People are very quick to pass the problem on to another department, but how can we sleep at night knowing somebody’s problem and knowing we did not do anything to help?” Mnikathi said.

Kanyile has worked six years at Msunduzi Municipality, while Ndabele and Mnikathi have been contract workers for a year-and-a-half.

The three were found painting and cleaning the home of an elderly woman who lives in Krishnan Road in Northdale yesterday.

“This lady came into our office and we could see she was frail. She could not hear or speak properly, but she told us about the condition of her home and that she had no income,” Kanyile said.

The three then conducted a site inspection and said they found the woman living in a council house without electricity.

“She had no dishes and was eating from her hand. We saw her problems first-hand and we had to help,” Mnikathi said.

The three approached local businesses, friends and family, who sponsored fresh paint, cleaning detergents and other essentials to assist the woman. They also bought groceries and are in the process of connecting electricity to her home.

“We want to encourage people to assist anyone in need. You do not need millions of rands to help someone,” Mnikathi said.

The municipal workers’ manager, who would not be named, said he was “super proud” of his staff.

“They remind me of what I am supposed to be doing. Working for the municipality, our most important task is to make sure our community is fed and housed and are taken care of,” said the manager.

The workers said they feel “fulfilled” and “happy” knowing they helped someone, “even if it is in the slightest way”.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzbrug  |  msunduzi municipality

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