top of page

SAMVOZA Malmesbury Shelter Project

The project started with improving the shelter situation for 36 Veterans and their families in the Malmesbury area in the Western Cape. Yongama Zigebe, our Welfare and Parliamentary Officer put the entire project together, securing a roof over the heads of this large number of homeless Veterans and their families and food on the table.

The shelter is an old Church building, which Yongama had to make a personal commitment to ensure it will be looked after.

We, the Veterans and, we are sure the people within that Shelter, salute you, Yongama.

SAMVOZA – Malmesbury Project",

Background document
For internal briefing purposes ONLY
Project Brief dated 20th April, 2020

Project: SAMVOZA Malmesbury Project:
Whereas, the SAMVOINT Entities offers its members the opportunity to meet, network and attend Remembrance Services in countries outside of South Africa, the SAMVOINT Executive believes that our Zone 2A Entity, SAMVOZA, in South Africa, needs to differentiate more from other veteran organisations, if we are to be meaningful to our membership and the communities in that Zone.
Since early 2016, SAMVOINT established our Welfare and Medal Office in Johannesburg and Yongama Zigebe has managed this office. The National Chairman of SAMVOZA, who is also our SAMVOINT Representative to the CMVO, Veteran Colin Bowring MMM, oversees its operation. There have been, and still are, many cases of veterans who are in desperate need of support, but battle to fill in the required forms in order to receive veteran benefits. They either do not have the skills, or the contacts to ensure that the forms are submitted in the required format, time and place.

Aside from his visits to SANDF Medals and Awards, Yongama has been steadfastly visiting the DMV to ensure that applications for benefits are presented and being processed, and he also includes visiting veterans in 1 Mil Hospital. ",

SAMVOZA Assistance to 36 families including Veterans

In early 2020, SAMVOINT was made aware of a group a Veterans living in Malmesbury, a town of approximately 36,000 inhabitants in the Western Cape province of South Africa, about 65 km north of Cape Town. The area is especially known for its grain and wine cultivation as well as sheep and poultry farming.

Yongama, who is the SAMVOINT Representative at the South African Parliament in Cape Town, received a call from one of the committee members from the IFP, FF-Plus and ACDP who have been trying to get the attention of the committee chair to respond to the this issue, so that they could devise means to assist the families who have been displaced after the municipality claimed the informal land they had occupied was to be used for municipalities projects.
After their houses/shacks had been demolished, they turned to the nearby church and they lived there for the past 6 months. For some reason none of this made the local media. ",

Yongama set in motion a number of initiatives:",
He went with the Member for Malmesbury so they could appraise the situation and found that there was no privacy, no mattresses and their blankets were torn and in poor condition. They simply had to sleep on the church benches. However, this was a better option than not having a roof over their heads and living in the streets.
They called for help from different individuals to donate cash so we can at least buy groceries, hygiene items and other basic necessities that were needed. Unfortunately they did not raise much, just R6,200.00 which did not go far. ",

Yongama went to the Assistant Director General (ADG) of the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) and asked for an immediate assistance and relief for the veterans and their families. The ADG promised that something will be done and that he would consult Human Settlements and other related departments, who are DMV stakeholders for this purpose. The ADG did arrange for a mini mobile clinic to go to the area at least twice in 3 weeks to access the health conditions of the people there, which was a small win. ",

Yongama has also been busy collating more information on the Veterans in order for them to be registered on the DMV database. Most, if not all, are PTSD sufferers, which has made gathering their service information very difficult. The ADG instructed his office to use the ID numbers and Force numbers to track down their records with DOC Centre and other relevant offices within the service. ",
Yongama took advantage of his position as representative of SAMVOINT in Parliament, to Gift of the Givers and asked for assistance and they have come to the aid of the veterans. Gift of the Givers donated School shoes, uniforms, clothes, mattresses, blankets, kitchen equipment, cutlery, plates, and sanitary products. ",
By this time they had identified a shelter nearby that was no longer in use, so Yongama and the Minister tracked down the owner, who lives in Camps Bay, and travelled to him in order to have a meeting. He readily accepted the proposal, providing that Yongama would look after the shelter, as the owner was not prepared to travel 2 days every week to make sure that all was in order at the shelter. ",

Yongama agreed to this condition, which brings added responsibility, as well as travel costs.

All the Veterans and families then occupied the shelter and Yongama arranged with a Reverend Mosa Sgidi to check daily on the shelter and assist him with looking after the project. The Reverend has setup a committee of 3 people who will assist in this regard, but he does require that Yongama should visit the shelter at least once a week.

This was communicated with the owner and he agreed.

Now they are in the Centre, Yongama has initiated a number of activities:

There is a food shortage. He came up with the idea to set up their own gardening and, by sheer luck there is a greenhouse located at the back of the Shelter. They are currently seeking donations for vegetable seeds.",

He is having talks with farms in the area with a view to them employing a few Veterans.",
He has also talked to Rainbow Chickens about employment and this is progressing well.
The need remains for Yongama to meet what must be seen as SAMVOINT’s obligation to ensure the ongoing success and the wellbeing of 36 Veterans and family of the Malmesbury Project. A return trip to Malmesbury would cost R900 and with visits twice a month, we need to cover R1800 per month.

If SAMVOINT was to participate, this would mean a donation of around AUD$180 per month.

Colin Bowring – Project Co-ordinator – Johannesburg –
Yongama Zigebe – Project Manager – Johannesburg –
Tony Macquet – Project Champion – Melbourne –",

Project Gallery

bottom of page