South Africa: As part of giving back to the community, the 5 South African Infantry Battalion, which is currently deployed under the Joint Tactical Headquarters KwaZulu-Natal, handed over keys to a newly built house to M.Z. Ndlangamandla of Kwa-Lubisi Village, in Pongola, on 31 March 2023.
A local Ward Councillor, S. Khumalo, brought the plight of Ndlangamandla to the attention of the Chaplain of the deployed Battalion, Chaplain S.N. Mbodla.
The Chaplain and his team went to assess the situation, and on their arrival, they discovered that Ndlangamandla and his family had been living in a dilapidated house for many years, and the family was in dire need of a safe home. The situation of Ndlangamandla was presented to 5 S.A. Infantry Battalion members based in Pongola, and the members responded positively to the project. They dug deep into their pockets and donated R 25,200.00.
Local stakeholders were requested to support the project, and they responded with great enthusiasm. The uPhongolo Municipality got on board, together with Community Working Programme that provided builders. A local businessperson, M. Simelane, donated aluminium windows for the house.
The Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel J.S. Siebritz, was beaming with pride at the handing over ceremony, “It is through your tireless efforts that we are today handing over this house to the family of Ndlangamandla. We are very grateful for the role they have played in their various capacities in ensuring a better life for this family,” he said.
The Acting Chief of Staff of Joint Operational Headquarters, Brigadier General B.M. Feni, represented General Officer Commanding Joint Operational Headquarters, Major General S.G. Hlongwa, at the ceremony.
Brigadier General Feni said, “As we hand over the keys to Ndlangamandla, we are restoring his dignity, and this is a beacon of hope for Ndlangamandla and the people of Pongola; you are changing lives as you have capacitated the state to deliver on its mandate.”
Brigadier General Feni further extended words of appreciation to the deployed Battalion when he said – “You have further put emphasis on the premise that we are a Defence Force for the people.”
Ndlangamandla expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the S.A. National Defence Force for their benevolence and wished them success in everything that the S.A. National Defence engages in.