A Beacon Valley family, who attended a community engagement with Jackson Mthembu, the Minister in the presidency responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation, will be getting some much needed help after a community worker highlighted their plight at the meeting.
The Davids family attended the meeting with community activist Sulyman Stellenboom, who is the chairperson of Tafelsig organisation Bread not Bullets and who advocated for help for the family who had been evicted from their home on Tuesday February 11 (“Community raises concerns ahead of SONA”, Plainsman, February 19).
Edwin, 41, and Monica Davids, 32, have two disabled children, Juvani, 15, and Marchellino, 10, and one able-bodied child, Luciano, 9, who does not attend school.
The parents said they were told by the Western Cape Education Department office in Town Centre, that Luciano should be enrolled at the newly opened Washington Drive Primary School in Colorado Park but the family live in Beacon Valley, making it a struggle to get him to school.
When they attended the meeting on Wednesday February 19 at the Mitchell’s Plain SAPS boardroom, the room was not wheelchair friendly and they had to carry Marchellino and his wheelchair up the stairs. Mr Stellenboom raised this with Mr Mthembu, and Brigadier Cass Goolam of Mitchell’s Plain SAPS, at the meeting.
After the meeting, representatives of the Community Development Workers (CDW) Programme for Mitchell’s Plain Metro 2, regional coordinator Lynn Phillips and government communications and information systems regional communications co-ordinator Sikelela Zokufa and his team visited the Davids family at their wooden wendy house in Beacon Valley.
They had previously stayed across the road with Ms Davids’ parents but the family they shared the home with evicted them and sold the house. They then moved to their neighbour’s place temporarily.
Juvani and Marchellino share a wheelchair, but a social entrepreneur from Johannesburg has committed to making sure Marchellino gets a wheelchair.
The CDW workers will be liaising with the labour department in a bid to assist the parents with employment and the Western Cape Education Department who will assess Luciano and Marchellino, who have not been placed in schools yet.
Juvani currently attends Agape School in Tafelsig.
Ms Davids said: “It is difficult living in this condition. I stayed in a home with my parents who have now passed on. When we were put out two weeks ago, I thought about how I stayed in that house for almost 20 years. My children were born there, grew up there too. It is not nice but I am grateful for the help,” she said.
“Here is movement here, these are not empty promises. I am so emotional about the help the family has received. With no funds and resources, help was offered to us. I helped the best I could,” Mr Stellenboom added.