Ontlametse Phalatse, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder which causes premature ageing, had her bucket-list fulfilled when she met with President Jacob G Zuma. It was her wish to meet the President before her 18th birthday, which was on 25 March 2017.
Sadly, Ontlametse passed away on the morning of 12 April 2017. “A brave young fighter has fallen. May her spirit inspire all others living with disabilities or facing any difficulty, to soldier on as she did and live life to the fullest. We are really proud of her,” Zuma said in a statement.
The President ensured that Ontlametse’s family received the car that he had promised her. The car, which was going to be a surprise and would have been handed over to her on the Presidents birthday on 12 April, was handed over to her mother.
Ndaba Car Handover
The young Samkelisiwe Ndaba, was brought to the Patron’s attention, when her mother went to the President’s home in Nkandla seeking assistance of any kind for her daughter. She shared an emotional story with the Patron who tabled it to the JGZF for assistance. One of Mrs Ndaba’s problems was that she had to carry Samke, who was 14 years old at the time, to school or to the clinic.
In February 2011, the Foundation with the help of benevolent donors, led by the Patron, bought a car for Mrs. Ndaba, to ease the physical burden of having to carry Samke everywhere
Salvation Army Church Handovers
A function was held on 03 June 2012, where the Patron of the JGZF officially handed over a newly built church to the Salvation Army in Nkandla. The building was accepted by the First Lady, Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma, on behalf of the Salvation Army, who was represented by Territorial Commander W Langa.
The building was requested by the First Lady who approached the JGZF for assistance. The JGZF in turn approached African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) who subsequently built the church. The Executive Chairman of ARM, Mr Patrice Motsepe, was present at the handover.
Widowed Women of South Africa (WWOSA)
On 15 November 2011, a successful function, with the assistance of the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, was held in the Ugu District, for the Widowed Women of South Africa (WWOSA).
The Widows requested the JGZF to host an event to give a platform to Widows from all sectors such as those who lost husbands from taxi violence, from the mines, from the faction fights, etc. The overall objective of this requested event was to expose Widows to a range of government opportunities they could take advantage of.
The JGZF Patron, President Jacob G Zuma accepted the Widows request for assistance and agreed to grace the event, whereupon the JGZF approached the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities to assist.
At the gathering the Patron requested that Widows be assisted with their requests with by the relevant Departments.
The Premier of KwaZulu Natal pledged his commitment to help the Widows by the end of January 2012, where his office would organise a follow-up Workshop to identify areas where they could be assisted with immediate effect.
Christmas for Umkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans Association MKMVA Veterans
In Richards Bay, KwaZulu Natal on 23 December 2016, the Patron of the Jacob G Zuma Foundation, President Jacob Zuma, addressed the Umkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) and acknowledged that more needs to be done to address the plight of thousands of former Umkhonto Wesizwe members.
The Patron hosted the Christmas Party and pleaded with the District Municipality as well as KZN Province to partner so that the Christmas for MKMVA could become an annual event. He says the role played by the MK in liberating the country will never be forgotten.
Meanwhile Kwa Zulu Natal MKMVA Chairperson, General Themba Mavundla, and the former MK combatants told the President about their plight and how most of them are unemployed and live from hand to mouth despite their immense contribution to the liberation struggle.
“I believe the situation of our former MK combatants should not be like this. We thank the JG Zuma Foundation. It not the first time the JGZF is giving us Christmas gifts. We still need help like this. I’m telling if you had not given us these Christmas gifts many of MKMVA members would have had a black Christmas”. General Mavundla also requested the President to expedite the repatriation of remains of those who died on foreign land.
The MK members who received Christmas hampers were from the following regions:
- Thamsanqa Fihlela Region
- Jerome Langa Region
- Moses Mabhida Region
- Sihle Mbonga Region
- James Ngoloyi Region
Hydroponic Gardens Initiative
The Hydroponic Agricultural Project was piloted in the areas of Qedisimo in Nkandla and Benoni Hydroponics in Gauteng, which was launched on 27 November 2014.
Hydroponic Garden Initiative is one of the most important initiatives in addressing some of the key challenges that face our people, namely that of eradicating poverty and ensuring long term and sustainable food security. During the State of the Nation Address in 2014, the President indicated that: “We have identified agriculture as a key job driver” … and that “our target is for the agricultural sector to create a million jobs by 2030.” That is what the National Development Plan advocates. Part of this initiative falls within that ambit of ensuring that agriculture becomes an important tool in the hands of the people in changing their lives for the better.
In His State of the Nation Address the President made commitment that: “Support will be provided to communities as well to engage in food production and subsistence farming to promote food security, in line with the FetsaTlala food production programme”.
This initiative is meant to ensure that people become productive and get involved in agriculture, and use agriculture as a means of fighting against poverty, and also become productive within the economy.
The beneficiary communities are Izinqoleni Local Municipality, Vukuzithathe Tribal Authority under Inkosi Cele and kwaMthimude Tribal Authority under Inkosi Mavundla
The Project aims to alleviate poverty, encourage entrepreneurship and develop rural food security amongst less fortunate communities especially this particular community that was affected by factions amounting to atrocious Shobashobane Massacre 25 years ago.
His Excellency, the President of the Republic of SA, in his capacity as the Patron of the J.G.Zuma Foundation, launched the Hydroponic Agricultural Initiatives at Ezinqoleni on 21 December 2015. This launch is in accordance with the Jacob G Zuma Foundation efforts to “break the cycle of intergenerational poverty”.
Wiping away tears of joy and happiness, Ntombilezi Phungula, or Mama Phungula as she is affectionately known, appeared stunned at being the centre of attention in her rural community. Surrounded by dignitaries whom included His Worship, the Mayor of eThekwini, Alderman Obed Mlaba, the District Mayor of Ugu District Municipality and the Regional Chairperson of the ANC, Cllr Sthembiso Cele, Inkosi P Duma, Izimpethuzendlovu Traditional Council, Dr Nevhutanda, Chairperson of the National Lotteries Board, and Ms Dudu Myeni, Executive Chairperson, Jacob Zuma Foundation, and a multitude of community members, Mama Phungula was overwhelmed at being the recipient of a generous donation from the Jacob Zuma Foundation. The celebration handover was made during a gala event held in her honour at KwaDumisa on Tuesday, 04 January 2011.
Suffering from a massive stroke in 2004 which left her paralysed and completely bedridden, this cruel blow of Fate would have left a lesser spirited person depressed and angry with their lot in life. Instead, Mama Phungula raised her six orphaned grandchildren single-handedly amid impoverished means, living in the deep rural area of KwaDumisa, approximately 36 kms south of Park Rynie on the South Coast. KwaDumisa falls under Ward Nine of the Vulamehlo Municipality. Squashed in to one dilapidated rondavel, she constantly worried about how she was going to feed so many mouths and give each an education that will stand them in good stead for their futures. Another menacing enemy is the elements. Mama Phungula and her charges spent every rainy night huddled under plastic sheeting in a futile attempt to keep warm and dry in their muddy hut.
The Foundation, through its Patron, Jacob Zuma and His Excellency, President of the Republic of South Africa, has a long-standing and deep-rooted relationship with Mama Phungula. She worked with the Patron’s mother, Ms MaMzobe Zuma in Durban, staying in Mkhumbane. In December 1962, Mr Jacob Zuma went to exile for his long-fought struggle against the apartheid regime and had to say his sad goodbyes to his mother and Mama Phungula, never knowing if he would see them again.
Replacing his Presidential mantel for his Foundation hat during the Christmas recess from Parliament, Jacob Zuma, through the Foundation,
undertook to alleviate Mama Phungula’s suffering and hardship and adopted her cause as one of the Foundation’s upliftment projects. Addressing the dire needs of the most affected and impoverished members of deepest rural hinterlands are paramount to the Foundation’s objectives in line with its Mission Statement: ‘ To Break the Cycle of Inter-generational Poverty’. Sharing a crowded, self-built one-roomed rural hut with her grandchildren ranging from 12 to 23 in ages, the worst hardship Mama Phungula has to overcome daily is to rear her orphaned family; completely incapacitated and without any financial means, apart from the old age pension she receives from government.