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HomeAfricaChinese Consul General Pan Qingjiang donates wheelchairs to Duduza community

Chinese Consul General Pan Qingjiang donates wheelchairs to Duduza community

Some people living with disability, and elderly community members in Duduza, on Gauteng’s East Rand, have been showered with unexpected gifts as the Consulate General of China in Johannesburg donated wheelchairs to those in need.

Joined by Speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Ntombi Mekgwe, Consul General of China in Joburg, Pan Qingjiang said he hoped the wheelchairs would ease the plight of the disadvantaged community members, while reiterating China’s friendship to the people of South Africa.

“We are delighted to donate 10 wheelchairs to the elderly and disabled friends in Duduza, in the hope that it can express China’s friendship and care for the people of South Africa, and that our love can bring some convenience and comfort to your lives.

“Love is the most basic and powerful human emotion. It has the capacity to bind us together across differences in race, borders, beliefs and cultures,” he said.

“Both China and South Africa attach great importance to people’s livelihood at the grassroots level. (Former South African president) Nelson Mandela once said ‘a fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”

“Our President Xi Jinping also said ‘barrier-free environment construction is a sign of civilization of a country and society. We need to protect vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and the disabled, and to safeguard the basic livelihood of the people’.”

Pan said it is the responsibility of every member of society to care for, and support the disadvantaged.

The Chinese diplomat who previously represented Beijing in different capacities in countries including Zambia and the United States told the Joburg community members that he believes by working together, it is possible to create an equal and inclusive social environment for all.

“Lastly, I wish you all the best of luck, happiness, and good health with long life,” he said.

Addressing the gathering, Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe said she has established an outstanding working relationship with Pan, who arrived in South Africa last year and officially took over the reins at the Chinese Consulate General in Joburg earlier this year.

“Let me thank you CG (consul general) because since you arrived, both of us have been going around working on the ground in places like Kensington, Soweto, different places in Johannesburg giving school children stationery

“Every time I call your office to say can you give this support, you always respond very quickly. Your Consulate General is located in Johannesburg, and most Chinese people are based in Johannesburg but it is the first time we come to this community.

Mekgwe also revealed that she still lives amongst the community members in the East Rand.

“I do not think I will forever live this community. I started my activism as a 16-year-old child living in this community, some of the houses were not yet build at the time. I grew up here, even when I was harassed by the police, it was this community that was crying with my community,” she said.

Mekgwe said she grew up with some of the recipients of the wheelchairs, and knew them very well.

To further deepen the existing ties between the Gauteng provincial government and China, Mekgwe revealed that she will be travelling to the Asian economic powerhouse on a work trip in July.

Last year, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and a delegation from the economic heartbeat province of South Africa toured China where several trade deals were inked.

For more than a decade, China has been South Africa’s biggest trading partner, and a major source of investment into South Africa. Officials say Chinese-invested enterprises in South Africa have created more than 400,000 local jobs.

Last year, IOL reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping paid his fourth State Visit to South Africa, reaching a series of landmark consensus with President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria.

IOL

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