Jobless youths volunteer to spruce up village

2013-03-11 00:00

FED up with uMngeni Municipality’s poor maintenance of their blocked stormwater drains, a group of unemployed residents in Lidgetton Valley near Howick decided to fix the problem themselves.

It all started in December last year when five unemployed youths decided to clear the stormwater drains because taxi drivers refused to enter their village whenever heavy rains and blocked drains combined to flood the roads.

Nontobeko Mkhize, Thulani Dlamini, Londeka Duma, Felix Zuma and Sipho Zungu did not stop there: they also started cleaning the neighbourhood.

“We had been phoning the municipality to help clear the blocked drains for a while, to no avail. When we realised that we were not getting help, we started clearing it for ourselves,” said Zuma, a member of the Lidgetton Volunteers.

He added: “Since we are unemployed, we needed positive ideas to keep us busy away from crime and drug abuse, which is affecting a lot of young people.”

Zuma said the volunteers were also educating the community on the need to cut grass for use as compost.

“We have to keep our village clean because it is a tourist destination and if kept neat, tourists will keep coming and perhaps it might lead to one of them investing here, which will in turn create jobs,” said Zuma.

Volunteer Sipho Zungu said they received help from John Hall, a local guesthouse owner who organised the paint and tools they used to beautify their area.

Zungu said they wanted to send a message to the youth that being unemployed shouldn’t mean they couldn’t be useful in their neighbourhoods.

The volunteers have painted a subway and intend to plant flowers at the entrance to their village.

“We just need the municipality to help us with uniforms and tools to do the work,” said Zungu.

Hall, who owns Pleasant Places guesthouse, said the volunteers approached him in January.

“I thought they wanted work, but nevertheless I listened to them and they told me that they wanted me to be part of their cleaning project by helping them,” said Hall.

He said he became inspired because they told him that the village belonged to all of them.

“It was not about us and them, but it was about the entire community benefiting from what these young people had started,” he said.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.