The gift that keeps on giving

The gift that keeps on giving

. . . as Nthane Holdings comes to the rescue

MOHALE’S HOEK -FOR a blind couple living in Qalakheng in Mohale’s Hoek, the lockdown has made a bad situation worse.
Before the lockdown which was imposed as a preventative measure against the deadly coronavirus, ’Mathato and Rethabile Moshe were already struggling to make ends meet.

Being blind, economic opportunities were limited for the couple, which made a living from working as fruit vendors at a bus stop.
“The money we made (before the lockdown) was just enough to buy food for the day,” says the husband, 43-year-old Rethabile.
Rethabile was born blind while his 39-year-old wife ’Mathato lost her sight in 2007.

The two married after meeting at a school for the blind in Ha-Tšosane in Maseru.
Even though Lesotho is yet to record a virus infection, the couple lives in fear that it may not be able to survive if the coronavirus strikes the country.
Already battling to buy food, Rethabile and ’Mathato say they would be unable to cope with a virus infection.

Washing hands with soap under running water is viewed by the World Health Organisation as the best way to prevent coronavirus. Yet, for the couple this would be a luxury.

“We do not even have soap to use as our business of selling apples closed due to the lockdown,” ’Mathato says.
“Here at our home we do not have running water,” she adds.
However, the couple has had some relief recently after local tycoon, Tšeliso Nthane intervened to ease the situation.

Nthane, through his Nthane Holdings (Pty) Ltd, is running a successful civil construction and earth moving business involved in several lucrative road construction projects.

He is also a well-known hotelier, running the famous Blue Mountain Inn in his home town of Teya-Teyaneng and Maluti Hotel in Mohale’s Hoek.
Nthane Brothers set aside M5.5 million to provide food parcels to the needy throughout the country.

The company started delivering food to the people in Berea district two weeks ago and last week it was in Mohale’s Hoek where the Moshes were part of the recipients.

’Mathato described the intervention of Nthane Holdings as “life-saving”.
“We are staying alone in a house that has no windows, which is so dilapidated that it might even fall anytime,” she says. “We are grateful to Nthane Holdings for bringing us food.”

’Mathato says even before the lockdown their fruit vending business suffered from people who cheated them.
“Some would take more than what they would have paid for taking advantage of the fact that we are blind,” she says.

Nthane Holdings distributed food parcels to 1 100 street vendors, jobless people, orphans and people living with disabilities in Mohale’s Hoek.
Nthane Holdings announced that it had set aside M5.5 million to help poor people in the country’s 10 districts survive the lockdown.

The Qalakheng chief’s representative, ’Matšenolo Bereng, says the donation came “at the right time” because people in Mohale’s Hoek were living in abject poverty.
Bereng says most people in the district survive on running small informal businesses.

“Very soon someone will die of hunger in the village,” she says.
’Mamokhethi Nthane, the company’s marketing official, says it is important for companies to help people with food and other necessities during this time of global crisis.

“All over the world reports (of coronavirus cases) are escalating,” Nthane says. “Even our neighbours (South Africa) are in crisis.”
“Nthane Holdings supports the lockdown because we understand the importance of people staying at home,” Nthane says.

“Many people are in crisis so Nthane Holdings will help with food for needy families as it is our responsibility to help.”
Mohale’s Hoek MP, former Defence Minister Sentje Lebona, says the donation came as a godsend to people whose livelihoods have been affected by the lockdown.

“May all those who have received food parcels share with others so that we all survive during the lockdown,” Lebona says.
He encouraged people to continue washing their hands with soap and running water for 20 seconds after touching any object.

He also warned people against touching their noses, mouths and eyes to avoid infection.
He called on the government to give priority to local companies when awarding tenders as such companies would invest in local communities.

Nkheli Liphoto

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