The end of the year is a reflective time for everyone. A chance to focus on renewal and new beginnings. For the recipients of the ITHUBA housing project, the end of 2023 is a year ending like no other. The carefully chosen beneficiaries of the National Lottery Operator’s CSI housing project are receiving newly built homes ahead of Christmas, and there couldn’t be a better way to complete the year.
ITHUBA, Africa’s premier National Lottery operator, is proud of their achievements as a company, and their phenomenal growth experienced as they move into their 9th year of operations. A dynamic, technologically driven company, ITHUBA is also a company with their heart in the right place, with CEO Charmaine Mabuza personally driving their corporate-social initiatives with the aim of tangibly uplifting communities.
ITHUBA. Changing Lives One Family At A Time
Their home building projects first started internally, with ITHUBA building homes for staff members that needed assistance. At the end of 2022, they embarked on a larger scale housing build, spurred on by their relief work in the aftermath of the floods in Kwa Zulu-Natal.
Mabuza is passionate about providing homes for those in need, saying, “The inspiration for building homes was recognising the immense need for disadvantaged beneficiaries to receive homes in South Africa. Witnessing this situation, we decided to take positive action. ”
“The positive impact it had was inspiring, and so we continue trying to make a difference by providing homes for those in need. ”
This year, ITHUBA has specifically partnered up with DPSA (Disabled People South Africa) to provide homes for beneficiaries who are differently abled.
The housing roadshow is spreading some much-needed festive warmth from the 5th through to the 12th of December, changing lives of families from around South-Africa. Their Christmas wishes will be realised through having a home that not only houses them, but specifically caters for their needs. For many of the recipients these homes will put an end to the hardship of long walks to communal bathrooms and water tanks.
Overcoming Adversity To Triumph
Edward Makolane (41), is wheelchair-bound and has been living alone in an informal shack in the South of Johannesburg. Before ITHUBA decided to build him a new home, Makolane had been battling to live comfortably in a one-bedroom shack that makes no allowances for his condition.
For many years, he has been doing his best to cook and clean for himself without any wheelchair ramps. It’s heartening to know that the spirit of ubuntu is very much alive in his community, with fellow community members having had a water tap installed for him when they saw how he was struggling to get to the nearby JoJo tanks. The new beginning this home is giving him is bigger than a ramp or a toilet. For the first time in years, Makolane’s only child can come and live with him. This is most certainly the best gift he could ever hope for.
In the province of the Free State, Dikeledi Mmihi (35), is tearful saying she cannot believe her dream of living in a brick house is finally being realised. When she was 21, both of her parents passed away, leaving Mmihi responsible for her younger sister.
Not only has she been looking after her sister, but she is a single mother to two of her own children, and battling to make ends meet in the mud-house which was their family home. Further complications arose when Mmihi fell into a stormwater drain, and sustained serious injuries that don’t allow her to stand for long periods of time. Her luck has taken a turn, with ITHUBA recognising that she deserves a safe haven for herself, her children and her sister. Mmihi’s resilience is being seen and rewarded with respite in the form of a beautiful new home.
Further afield in rural Eastern Cape, Buyisawa Mnyebeni (39), is a single parent living in the village of Ntsimbini. In dire need of help, Mnyebeni’s mud-house was on the verge of collapse.
Mnyebeni has had a hard time since her childhood, and spent her nights sleeping in the streets after her mother left for work one day and never returned. Without a home to call her own, she found herself continually on the move until moving to the village of Ntsimbini to live with her Uncle. A single-parent to three children, she is unable to work, as caring for her eldest disabled child is a full-time job. Having single-handedly built her mud-house in 2020, the relief of being given a secure home of her own is more than she could have ever imagined. Having never been exposed to the luxuries of running water, her own toilet or electricity, Mnyebeni is overjoyed with her new home.
The Joy Of Giving
Being able to create lasting change by affecting the trajectory of an entire families lives is an immense privilege and one which ITHUBA recognises. Through these projects, the spirit of ubuntu that exemplifies South African communities truly comes alive. Changing lives one family at a time, the ITHUBA housing beneficiaries are given the opportunity to recognise that there could be a different path for them. Along with keys to their new homes, hope is awarded to the beneficiaries, and the parting gift from ITHUBA is the ability to dream of a brighter tomorrow.