'Usually neglected' blind man gets new house, water tank

2016-12-22 13:43

Pietermaritzburg – In November, GroundUp told the story of a 49-year-old blind man who lived in a dilapidated hut with his disabled sister and had to walk 3km to fetch water.

Within the space of two weeks, Ernest Mdunge of Khokhwane in Pietermaritzburg was presented with a house with two bedrooms, a kitchen, lounge and bathroom built for him by the Vulindlela Development Association (VDA), as well as a water tank.

Mdunge said he is over the moon and grateful that he will be celebrating Christmas with a water tank in his yard.

The ward councillor in the area, Thandiwe Madondo, said they would monitor the water tank so that it did not run dry, GroundUp reported.

'Needy people a priority'

"I want to thank GroundUp for reporting on the matter," said Mdunge.

"After the story was published I had a visit from the mayor [Themba Njilo]. I'm happy to see there are still people out there who [care] about the well-being of others. Usually, people living in rural areas are neglected."


Ernest Mdunge, who is blind, in front of the dilapidated hut he and his sister Bongekile Hlengwa used to live in. (Nompendulo Ngubane/GroundUp)

Njilo, local leadership and the ward councillor were present during the handover.

Community members were also present to see Mdunge officially open his house.

Njilo said: "As soon as I heard and read about it, I ordered that the matter was treated as an emergency. No one deserved what that family was experiencing. We still need to work harder in making sure that people in that ward and its surroundings never feel left out."

Operations manager for VDA Mpendulo Kunene said: "We are grateful for the effort that the media has put in. Needy people are always the first priority on a project."

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  housing  |  service delivery  |  good news

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