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There’s no stopping Thembalami’s new bus


Rand Aid’s Thembalami Care Centre and the Max Ordman Deaf Association (located in Thembalami’s grounds) had reason to celebrate on Friday, 12 November, when it received a new Volkswagen Crafter 17-seater bus, with a wheelchair lift, from the Department of Social Development (DSD).

Thembalami’s manager Esme van der Walt celebrated her birthday the same day, adding to the festive vibe at the care centre.

In celebration of receiving the new bus, Thembalami’s residents were spoilt with some tasty vetkoek and ice-cream cones, and the birthday girl added in cake for everyone for good measure.

Thembalami resident Cecilia Lombard.

Some of the residents were then treated to a ‘test drive’ in the bus, which also has space for two wheelchairs and is fully airconditioned.

“The residents loved it! We really appreciate this donation from the DSD,” says Esme.

“It will be used for hospital trips, unexpected medical emergencies, shopping trips, special functions and outings, and picking up small donations from members of the community, among other things,” she adds.

Driver Jacob Bahumi with Thembalami manager Esme van der Walt.

The bus will also be used in Thembalami’s Zamokuhle outreach programme, which assists elders in need from nearby Alexandra so that they can remain within their own community for as long as possible.

“We used to collect our ‘gogos’, as they are fondly called, from Alex three mornings a week. While we have not been able to do this due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, we hope we are able to continue with the programme soon,” says Esme.

For more information about Thembalami, visit

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