Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism and Transnet Assist Community to move forward this Mandela Day

JULY 15, 2015

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) have collaborated this year for Mandela Day in order to commemorate Nelson Mandela‘s Birthday by making a difference in the lives of Siyaphambili Disabled Community project. This project consists of a group of 12 members with a variety of disabilities who generate an income by doing arts and crafts to sustain their livelihoods.

Ms Mandlakazi Skefile CEO of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism shares, “A flourishing tourism destination is all about having a great place to visit live and play, therefore by having citizens that are happy and comfortable helps to have a more welcoming destination. We are excited to assist this project that the industry can further support by purchasing arts and crafts from.”

Siyaphambili is a community project currently situated in Walmer Township who does arts and crafts of all different kinds varying from beadwork, sewing, crocheting of plastic bags and more. The facility in which the group of 12 men and women were working was a shack that did not provide adequate space or shelter in adverse weather conditions and leaked every time it rained.

After discussions with Mr Lucky Nonimba who is the leader of the group and Mrs Glenda Brunette of Walmer Angels Project; TNPA and NMBT came up with a few suggestions. It was officially decided the main necessity was a dry and safe working environment for the group to continue their crafting skills.

Mr Rajesh Dana, Ports Manager of TNPA confirmed, “One of our responsibilities as a port is to improve the lives of the communities in which we operate and we trust that our contribution, in partnership with NMBT, will fulfill that objective. This is definitely a project of value to support and we felt it a matter of urgency to provide a comfortable dignified working space for the group to continue their efforts of being self sustainable.”

NMBT and TNPA have opted to spend more than the 67 minutes and had a group commence work on Monday, 14 July 2015.  The existing shack would be partly broken down and replaced by a 6m converted container; wheelchair ramps and a cement platform among other additions are to be added. Also a collection of items will be handed over while their small vegetable garden will be repaired after the construction of the new facilities.

Mr Lucky Nonimba Siyaphambili Disabled Community Project leader confirms, “We are so excited for these new facilities to work in as it will be a great help to us in order to move forward as the name of you project Siyaphambili means – “moving forward.”

Image: The Siyaphambili Disabled Community Project facilities before any changes have taken place.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead” – Nelson Mandela