The support by Pick n Pay Chris Hani Branch, the Gauteng Department of Social Development and the Motseki Foundation saw the successful celebration of the Talaza Thusanang Society’s 50th birthday celebration in Vosloorus on Thursday, 24th December 2020.
Established in 1970 – six years after the establishment of Vosloorus in 1964 – the Talaza Thusanang Society is one of the oldest burial societies in the township. The 50th birthday celebration of the Talaza Thusanang Society on Christmas Eve, which kicked-off with the distribution of the grocery hampers to 30 pensioners in Talaza Street and the neighbouring streets, culminated in the 80th birthday celebration of the Society’s only surviving founder member, Mr Khehla Khalipe Ramashala.
Relating the history of the Talaza Thusanang Society, an emotional Mr Ramashala, popularly known around Voslorus as Bra KK, said: “The idea of the Talaza Thusanang was sparked off by a family in Talaza Street that could not afford the burial costs of one of its members. With three of our neighbours (may their souls rest in peace), we started collecting R5.00 donations from each family in Talaza. In the end, we raised enough money to give our neighbour a dignified send-off. From there on, whenever there was a funeral at any family in Talaza Street, we would collect the R5 donations from each family and 50 years later, we have 30-member Society, which can afford to make a donation of R20 000 to a bereaved family. This is a rich history considering our beginning”.
Adding to the speech of the Octogenarian, Mr Ramashala, Pick n Pay Chris Hani Mall’s manager, Mr Isaac Msiza said: “This is a rich history indeed that we, as Pick n Pay, could not afford to miss to be part of. We are happy to be associated with one of the oldest and history-making society in Vosloorus”.
“Fresh from the painful forced removal of the Black people from Stirtonville (later renamed Reigerpark in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni) to Vosloorus by the apartheid regime, families were resettled with unfamiliar neighbours,” lamented Chairperson of the Talaza Thusanang Society, Mr Tom Maleswena, who himself, together with his family, were forcefully moved to Vosloorus. “I would imagine, therefore, it would take only a brave person like Mr Ramashala to approach strangers to start an initiative like Talaza Thusanang Society. It is for this reason that we should honour this hero (Mr Ramashala) in this manner,” continued Mr Maleswena.
Wishing both the Talaza Thusanang Society and Mr Ramashala, Social Development’s Director responsible for Social Crime Prevention, Ms Pearl Moabelo said: “As the department, we are looking forward to working with the Talaza Thusanang Society in future, for their vision of taking care of the elderly and the needy fits in well with the bigger vision of our Department. We wish Talaza Thusanang Society and Mr Ramashala 50th and 80th birthdays, respectively, many more years of healthy growth”.
The grocery hampers, which were donated by the Motseki and Ddumba foundations included basic groceries such as rice, sugar, maize meal and other goodies enjoyed by the elderly. On the other hand, the Gauteng Department of Social Development donated backpacks that included whistles, sanitisers, masks and USBs, while Pick n Pay donated refreshments such as meat, cool drinks and extra sugar packs to be included in the grocery hampers).
One of the 30 recipients of the treats, a jubilant 67-year-old Mrs Puseletso Makete said: this grocery hamper could not have come at a better time. It will certainly go a long way in supplementing the measly groceries I have already bought with my monthly social grant. For this I say big-up Talaza Thusanang Society”
Another recipient, an 18-year-old orphan, who is looking after her two siblings, Hlompho Twala, could also not contain her joy: “This goodies are a welcome relief as they come at the time when we were wondering where our next meal would come. I am truly thankful to Talaza Thusanang for these gifts,” she said.