MISTER Tahir Levy is an 83-year-old welfare and community worker, born in 1935, and raised in Caledon Street, District 6, during World War II. He has dedicated more than 60 years of his life to serving the community.
In this time, Mr Levy, also addressed as Mr Tahir Levy, has helped thousands of people and has on file a record of each and every case he worked on.
Prior to the demolition of District Six, the residents were very close and unified. Different places of worship and people of diverse faiths were coexisting in harmony. Doctors and imams integrated with the people of the community.
There was a sense of peace before the introduction of the Group Areas Act and the people of District Six were forcefully removed from their homes and sent to soulless, sandy areas, such as Mitchells Plain.
During the apartheid years, there were many people who struggled to survive. They needed someone to help them. Tahir Levy became that person. He rose to the occasion and assisted as many people as he could.
Since he began helping others, people have come to regard him as a community hero, not only deserving of praise but also as a person who is acknowledged for giving unselfishly of his time and expertise to help the people.
Mr Levy has dedicated his life to serving the community and is truly an inspiration to many.
He started his community work at the age of 14, assisting those people in the community who had not had the privilege of learning to read and write by doing their paperwork and filling in forms.
During his later years, he started a welfare office which he opened on Wednesday nights to people from all over: Bonteheuwel, Tafelsig, Rylands, Penlyn Estate and many other areas.
He assisted them with legal aid, housing, grants, burials, rehabilitation, pension, domestic problems and almost any other thing he could help with – not limiting himself to only one or a few specialties but willing and ready to assist with anything.
‘We get lots of cases and we try our best to solve it. Whatever help the person or people require, we try to give to them as we are here for the community. We don’t ask them about their religion or what they believe in. We don’t ask for money or any form of payment and we never send people away,’ said Mr Levy.
From the many people he has assisted, one of the cases that stands out for Mr Levy, is one which he referred to as ‘The Sugar Lady’.
She was an elderly woman from Delft who was diabetic and suffered from high blood pressure. She had been living off sugar water for about a week because there was no food in her house as she was not receiving a pension. She went to Mr Levy’s office for help.
Mr Levy went out and bought her two pies. He gave her one and told her to eat it immediately, and gave her the other one to take home. He subsequently continued assisting the woman in whichever way he could, even writing a letter to social services to grant her a pension.
Apart from the welfare office, Mr Levy runs a soup kitchen outside Muir Street Mosque, in Disrict Six, every Friday. He also collects money for fitrah hampers for Eid day, every year. And he helps with sourcing bursaries for students.
Mr Levy has received many honours and awards from the state and council for his welfare community work but remains humble, and continues to live by the motto: ‘No name, no fame and no monetary gain’.
In line with his commitment to assist all those who need help, Mr Levy, who now lives in Woodstock, has requested that we add his contact details to the article so that people may get in touch with him if they need his assistance with anything.
Mr Levy’s office is on the first floor of Fairview House, at 67 Argyle Street, Woodstock. His contact details are: (tel) 021 447 4670 and (email) firstname.lastname@example.org