Mayor Patricia de Lille handed over wheelchairs, walkers and commodes to Gugulethu residents on Thursday. Picture: Supplied/City of Cape Town
Crossroads resident Jennifer Dlikidla couldn’t stop smiling after receiving a new wheelchair and meeting mayor Patricia de Lille in Gugulethu yesterday.

Sitting in her wheelchair, the 37-year-old was overjoyed, singing, as she said she could not wait to get out on the streets.

Dlikidla and others were beneficiaries of 10 wheelchairs, 20 walkers and 10 commodes. The beneficiaries included senior citizens and residents with disabilities, many of whom are bedridden because they do not have any other mobility aids.

“It feels great to own a wheelchair. I will take good care of it. Without a wheelchair you cannot travel or go to the nearest spaza shop,” said Dlikidla.

De Lille admitted the donation was “like a drop in the ocean”, but the aim was to ensure every disabled person received one, especially those who could not afford one themselves.

The area’s ward councillor, Luvuyo Zondani, who is also living with a disability, partnered with the SACLA Health Project, which provides care for sickly people and the elderly who are not able to wash themselves, to identify beneficiaries.

“My excitement is overwhelming. Many people (living with disabilities) have not come because they are bedridden,” said Zondani.

Addressing De Lille, Zondani said: “You have changed people’s lives, mayor. Keep up the good work. This might look like very little, but to the beneficiaries it is something huge. Their lives will never be the same again.”

De Lille told the beneficiaries the City had budgeted nearly R3billion in the upcoming financial year to provide rates rebates and indigent relief to qualifying residents with municipal bills, debt arrangements and to alleviate the financial burden.

Oscar Tokwana, manager for the Nkunzi Organisation of Disabled People, said: “We have been waiting for this day all our lives.

“It is the first time for some of the beneficiaries to own a wheelchair.

“We are very grateful.”