By Hennie PAUW
THABAZIMBI – Anybody household manager knows the cost of keeping a family going. The “family” of Thabang, which consists of 33 children and its staff, runs at a shortfall of R100 000 a month. Thabang is the only centre where children can be placed in south western Limpopo.
The contributions from businesses and individuals in Thabazimbi and surroundings are invaluable and without them the shortfall would be much bigger. In this manner Thabang is supplied with soap and detergents, mielie meal, food and medical services, just to name a few.
The Department of Social Development pays R2 500 monthly towards each child in Thabang’s care. But that does not cover the expenses and, like many other community outreach organizations, Thabang has to raise funds to be able to provide for the children in its two centres.
But Thabang has fallen on hard times. According to General Manager, Alson Ngoveni, the apron strings are being cut with benefactor and founder of Thabang, Egon Mauss. He remains supportive of Thabang to a certain extent, however the farm on which one of the Thabang centres is situated used to be owned by Mauss, but has now been sold, save for the part on which the centre is. Expenses such as water and electricity, in future have to be paid for by Thabang.
The mining companies, which are the mainstay of the area’s economy, have run into trouble with demand for minerals going down as well as industrial action and other economic obstacles and have largely cut their contributions. Others have pledged funds which have not materialized.
“It is a complex situation and many factors have contributed towards our current situation. In the mean time the Board has instructed management to see where cuts can be made. We can only hope that the community will take hands in this matter and help us overcome our current difficulties,” says Ngoveni.
School children need uniforms. Orphans at Thabang’s Drop-in centre in Smash Block rely on donation.