On 1 April 2019, Gibela contributed more than R170 000 worth of new furniture and bed linen to help make life a little more comfortable for 31 residents of the Tsakane Old Age Home in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni.
This followed an appeal for assistance Gibela received in February that year from the home’s manager, Phoko Mokubung.
“We were desperately in need of new beds, mattresses and bedside cabinets. We have been making do with what we’ve had since the home first opened its doors in 1990,” said Mokubung.
Gibela came through with 34 new beds, mattresses and bedside cabinets, as well as bed linen and comfortable new lounge furniture for the home’s day room.
In terms of its constitution, the home had to ensure that the old beds, mattresses and other furniture would 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 old age home ticked all of the boxes for us,” said Gibela’s communications director, Pam Radebe.
“The starting point in our relationship was a well-motivated appeal for assistance; an in-situ inspection showed us this was an institution that was well-run by people with heart, and that it enjoyed the support of a ‘stretched’ community that cares about it.
“It has been a delight, and a privilege, for us to help.”
The Tsakane Old Age 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 money 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 deeds from the likes of the Lotto and corporates such as Gibela,” Mokubung noted.
He was quick to add that help also flows readily from the Tsakane community itself, most 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 from Monday to Friday 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.