Mthatha — An Eastern Cape family celebrated Christmas early when they received a brand new house five months after their home burnt to the ground.
Mthatha resident Gloria Silwane, who looks after five children and three grandchildren, said she was overwhelmed by the support shown by the municipality and her community after her home was destroyed in July.
"After my house burnt down, I started receiving calls in August from good Samaritans, offering gifts of building material with which to build a new home," said Silwane.
King Sabatha Dalindyebo Municipality Mayor Nonkoliso Ngqongwa said if it had not been for businessmen like Khanyile Tofa of Bathabile Construction, Mthuthu Ngxabane of Urban Africa Construction and Nceba Mndela of Khwalo Plant Hire, Silwane's dream of having a new home for her family would not have come true.
"We always ask our community to care for and support one another. Gestures like this are good for building a strong community," said Ngqongwa.
The house, valued at nearly R100 000, was completed just in time for Silwane and her family to move into before Christmas.
To make the family's Christmas even more special, Bandla Mngonyama and Matshawe Sokuthu from the Assemblies of God church made sure that the Silwanes have furniture for their new home.
"I am so grateful for the municipality for being my family's cornerstone. I would also like to thank all those that heeded the mayor's call to help build us a new home," said Silwane.
Khanyile Tofa said he and the other contractors were glad to be able to help the Silwane's in their hour of need.
"We are very humbled that we could help the family during their time of need. We are glad they will be able to spend Christmas in their own home," said Tofa.
Silwane and her siblings stayed with various relatives, friends and neighbours while their home was being built.