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Nelson Mandela Week

Cashbuild Divisional Manager, Andries Mahlaba and Community Support Initiative Manager, Thembelani Tukwayo, hands over the tools to the Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity South Africa, Patrick Kulati. (From right to left)

Cashbuild joined the rest of the world in celebrating Nelson Mandela International Day. Participating in a week-long building project in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, Cashbuild partnered with The Habitat for Humanity and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in the community of Orange Farm in Johannesburg.

Imbued by the spirit of Madiba, 670 volunteers spent a week from 17 to 21 July 2017, building houses for 67 families. To contribute to this effort, Cashbuild made a donation in the form of tools and equipment used by the volunteers. The tools included wheelbarrows, sweeping brooms, trowels, spades and other equipment needed for the project.

Cashbuild Community Support Manager, Thembelani Tukwayo, says Cashbuild's contribution to this project is in line with Mandela's spirit of partnership. "What we have done in this project is to enable the community with its partners to have the tools to build these houses themselves. Essentially, we have enabled them, and they were able to build their own houses and I think that is very important because if there is one thing we have been taught by Madiba is that we are our own liberators and by giving the tools to the community we are saying as Cashbuild, "build your own houses" because when people do that they take pride in their new home," says Tukwayo.

The house that Cashbuild staff volunteers contributed to building is owned by a humble family who has lived in a shack since 1995. James and Thulisile Ngobeni live in the house with their children. James is a gardener in Alberton, and Thulisile is unemployed. Thulisile expressed happiness at what Cashbuild volunteers were doing. "I am happy that this house will finally give us dignity and we will have a proper home, and this is important for us as we have been experiencing terrible cold weather recently," says the unemployed mother of three children.

Cashbuild believes strongly in supporting communities where we trade, and this Nelson Mandela International Day project is a clear demonstration of that.