Donated container a plus for Maths Clinic

Maths Clinic founder, Mpumezo Dungelo and his assistant ,Nosizwe Manunu.

The donation of a new container has allowed Imizamo Yethu-based non-profit, the Maths Clinic, to expand its services.

The NPO, founded in January 2016, has gone from strength to strength, and now tutors 39 pupils from Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg.

The container was procured from the Rotary Club of Dyce in Scotland, but Maths Clinic founder Mpumezo Dungelo said there had been issues installing it alongside the existing container in which the NPO is housed.

“The big issue was moving the container into place. My neighbour, who runs a fish and chips shop, was happy to relocate so I could put the containers together, but the situation became political. Samkelo Krweqe, of Sanco (South African National Civic Association) and another woman, Nondumiso Mabhele, did not want my neighbour to move. They said I was trying to force people into moving, but that wasn’t the case,” Mr Dungelo said.

He said when he initially brought in a truck to relocate his neighbour’s container and put his new container in place, he paid for it out of his own pocket, Sanco members prevented the operation taking place.

“I basically lost R3 000 because of that. At that point, I asked the City of Cape Town to intervene in the matter. I appealed to ward councillor Roberto Quintas who engaged with officials from the City. The City corresponded with my neighbour, who told them he did not have a problem moving.”

Mr Quintas also agreed to assist Mr Dungelo install a proper electricity connection at the Maths Clinic.

“I am very happy with the new container. The extra space has allowed us to start a food service, offering coffee and popcorn. We have also been able to add to office spaces so we can carry out our administrative work.”

Mr Krweqe said Mr Dungelo was “talking nonsense”, and it was in fact members of the community who objected to the second container.

“The community was asking why should he have two containers. I don’t know why he is using my name. You must speak to Nondumiso,” he said.

The Sentinel left voice and WhatsApp messages for Ms Mabhele, but she had not responded by the time this edition went to print.

Mr Quintas said he was approached by Mr Dungelo several months back to assist in rearranging the containers so that he could include an administrative office for the Maths Clinic.

“I was motivated to assist as the Maths Clinic equips students with additional tuition in maths and science. I then approached various City departments as we wanted to mediate and find a compromise between the various container owners. We wanted to ensure the process was in line with all City by-laws and fortunately in a short space of time the initial agreement the Maths Clinic had with the container owners was able to be secured.”

Mr Quintas also recognised that the Maths Clinic could render photocopying and computer services to the Imizamo Yethu community, which was important in respect of residents being able to draw up their CVs and submit job applications.

Currently, the Maths Clinic is holding mathematics classes at Silikamva High School and all science classes at Sijonga-Phambili Learning Centre.

“We have also been helping our Grade 12s apply for university, and I’m happy to say that most have been accepted to universities all over the country. What is pleasing is that our graduates have pledged to come back to tutor students at the Maths Clinic next year,” said Mr Dungelo.

“Unfortunately, we have lost one of our main sponsors who was paying fees to our tutors, so we are appealing to the public to help pay for transport to and from Hout Bay for our graduates who will be assisting as tutors next year. By having them return as tutors we are building a sustainable model for the Maths Clinic. We are also seeking funds to pay a full-time project co-ordinator for the programme. Of course we will also welcome volunteer tutors as well.”

Members of the public wanting to assist can contact Mr Dungelo at mathsclinic2015@gmail.com