Gibela lends a helping hand

Dunnottar, Ekurhuleni. 1 April 2019. Dunnottar-based train manufacturer Gibela has contributed more than R170 000 worth of new furniture and bed linen to help make life a little more comfortable for the 31 residents of the Tsakane Old Age Home in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni.

This follows receipt by Gibela in February this year of an appeal for assistance from the Home’s manager, Phoko Mokubung.

“We were desperately in need of new beds, mattresses and bedside cabinets,” said Phoko. “We have been making do with what we’ve had since the Home opened its doors almost 28 years ago, in 1990.”

Gibela came through, with 34 new beds, mattresses and bedside cabinets, as well as bed linen and comfy new lounge furniture for the Home’s day room.

But nothing will go to waste. In terms of its constitution, the Home will ensure that the old beds, mattresses, etc will be refurbished and offered to other institutions in need.

Gibela’s support for the Home forms part of the company’s economic development (ED) programme, a key contractual ‘deliverable’ to its customer, PRASA. More specifically, it flows from the community development component of the ED programme.

“The Home ‘ticked all of the boxes’ for us,” said Gibela’s Communications Director, Pam Radebe, on a visit last week.

“The starting point in our relationship was a well-motivated appeal for assistance; an in-situ inspection showed us this is an institution that is well-run by people with ‘heart’, and that it enjoys the support of a ‘stretched’ community that cares about it.

“It has been a delight, and a privilege, for us to help.”

The Home is run by a community-based voluntary organisation, the Tsakane Society for the Care of the Aged. While it receives a monthly grant from the Department of Social Development, this is used up – almost to the last cent – on big-line items such as food, staff wages, electricity, water, etc.

“To cover our other needs – maintenance for example, and the replacement of fixtures and fittings – we are heavily dependent on support in cash or kind from the likes of Lotto and corporates such as Gibela,” said Phoko.

He was quick to add that help also flows readily from the Tsakane community itself, most members of whom have daily challenges of their own to contend with.

“We have local doctors providing us with their services, pro bono, on a routine basis, for example; and local schoolchildren regularly provide entertainment for our residents.”

A member of the community – not exactly a youngster himself – comes in daily – Mondays to Fridays – for several hours to help maintain an impressive vegetable garden at the back of the Home’s premises. Produce from the garden helps to supply the Home’s kitchen.