Sizayama is a development group in the township that was established by Nellie Tbele, to look after older people in Zwelihle. In the past year, it has developed further to have a small laundrette service, a home care service and an after school club at Lukhanyo. There is an active committee, chaired by Nellie, along with some of members of the St Vincent de Paul Conference.

Senior Citizens Centre

In black culture, there is no such thing as a residential home for the aged. Old people remain and are cared for in the community. This system works fine when the younger generation is healthy and employed and capable of providing for parents’ physical and social needs. However, in Zwelihle, many of the younger generation are struggling to survive themselves due to AIDS and/or unemployment, and they are unable to look after parents.
The Siyazama day care centre in Zwelihle was built to service this need. Senior citizens come on a daily basis to have breakfast and a cooked lunch. Approximately 30 people attend each day. These people go to the sports grounds each day for some light exercise. Community leader Nelly Tbele, who has committed herself to the plight of the aged, runs the Centre. She assists the old people to access pensions, grants, ID documents etc. She also organises day trips away from Zwelihle.
The people from Siyazama Day Care Centre recently participated in the “Golden Games” and won several individual trophies and a team award.

Care Givers- Food on Feet

The Siyazama project has received sponsorship for four care givers who visit old people that are unable to walk to the centre. Meals are taken to them at their homes – the equivalent of our “meals on wheels” but Zwelihle, it is “food on feet”. Up to eighty meals are delivered each day. The care givers may also wash and dress the older person and do some exercises with them to help ease their joint pains.


Tunnel Garden

At the back of the Day Care Centre, a tunnel garden has been developed. The land has been cultivated and beetroot, carrots, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, onions, tomatoes and radishes were grown last year. These vegetables were used for the meals at the day care centre and for the Food on Feet programme. The excess was given to the local crèches, to feed the small children

After School Club

An after school club at Lukhanyo Primary School has been established to help children with their homework because many of their parents are unable to read and write. The children are also given a snack before they go home. This After School Club is financed by the government and Siyazama get a small administration fee to oversee its’ staffing and management.


Siyazama recently purchased two washing machines for use in the Day Care Centre and by the old people that come there each day. However, the machines were not in use all the time so Siyazama decided to offer a laundry service to people in the township. This has been particularly useful for people that are working in Hermanus and need to have their uniforms cleaned. The charge is 5 rand (40cent) per machine load.


Siyazama Wish List

One of the ambitions of the Siyazama project is to have a minibus of their own, to facilitate and enhance the care giving process, and to provide transport for the elderly people  to the centre and also to hospitals and to the clinic for medical appointments.
It would also be used to upgrade the “Food on Feet” to “Meals on Wheels”.
The minibus would allow for more day trips with the elderly people.


Siyazama Update:

The people of the Sacred Heart Parish have sponsored TWO elderly people at the Day Care Centre.
This sponsorship includes a hot breakfast and lunch as well as some nursing care. More importantly, it provides company and stimulation for older people who live alone in Zwelihle.