Share this article

For their 67 minutes, the mayor, premier and City officials pitched in to help rebuild houses damaged in protests in Chiawelo at the beginning of the month.
PEOPLE who had burned councillors’ houses in Chiawelo undermined the work that Nelson Mandela had done for this country, said Executive Mayor Parks Tau.


Executive mayor Parks Tau and MMC for public safety Matshidiso Mfikoe do their bit for MadibaExecutive mayor Parks Tau and MMC for public safety Matshidiso Mfikoe do their bit for MadibaHe was speaking at a Nelson Mandela Day event on 17 July, accompanied by Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and other City officials. They all committed 67 minutes of their time to rebuilding the two houses, which were damaged by vandals during protests on 5 July.

The homes, belonging to councillor Joe Nemaungane and Mirriam Ramafola, a former councillor, were set on fire by angry residents who were demonstrating against high electricity tariffs.

Tau also told people to stop connecting electricity illegally. “Poor people must come to register with Siyasizana at our offices so that they can be assisted,” he said.

Siyasizana is the City’s extended social package which helps the disadvantaged get basic services like electricity. Tau commended Nemaungane for his dedication in serving the community.

Addressing the gathering, Mokonyane condemned the victimisation of these community leaders, and urged people to respect councillors. “If you do not like the current councillors, wait for the next five years to vote in the local government election,” she said.


Doing god for 67 minutesDoing good for 67 minutesFor his part, Nemaungane commended the City for its leadership. “The City of Johannesburg is there for its people,” he said. “I am glad that more than 20 people were arrested and the law will play its part. No one takes the law into their hands and (is not) punished.”

A frail-looking Ramafola thanked the City and the premier for being there for her in this time of distress. “They have showed me that they are parents. They did not neglect us because we are in Chiawelo. I am now feeling stronger than ever before,” she said, holding back her tears.

She had forgiven those who had damaged her house, “I am still prepared to work with them again,” she said.

In giving his 67 minutes for Nelson Mandela Day, Tau helped to lay bricks to rebuild Nemaungane’s damaged house.

Mokonyane, who also helped to lay bricks, donated a fridge, chairs, a wheelbarrow and gardening equipment to Nemaungane, and a flat screen television, linen and blankets to Ramafola.

Related stories:

More Soweto vandals arrested
City listens to electricity woes
Soweto vandal suspects arrested
Celebrating with tree planting
Gifts handed to orphans
Orphans will get Mandela gifts
Celebrating with tree planting
Trees to be planted for Mandela
Greening plans for Mandela Day
Brand SA backs Mandela Day
Sing for Mandela, SA is urged
Bikers tour Mandela message
Do your bit on Mandela Day
Prepare for Mandela Day