The Neil Lemon Township Trust, not to be associated in any way with the Niall Mellon Township Trust which is completely different, was today re-launched under the new name “Shacks for Blacks”. Irish billionaire Neil Lemon said that the charity, which builds homes for South Africa’s township dwellers, had been renamed because of confusion with “that other charity”, which he reaffirmed was completely different. He also said that the word “township” was no longer suitable as it gave the impression that the areas were not really proper towns, while the word “trust” was removed because of the massive 97% non-payment of rent by the recipients of the new homes built by the charity since its inception.
Founded in 1997, the NLTT set about building Irish-style homes for black South Africans who live in tin-roofed shacks they build themselves. However, difficulty soon set in, as it was noticed that no Irish person had any actual knowledge of housebuilding, since that industry was turned over to Polish immigrants in the early 1990s. The high quality of locally-available building materials also caused problems for the NLTT.
“Things like shit-quality locks and door handles and those really cheap looking kind of mouldings are just not available in South Africa,” said Lemon. “We ended up having to import them from Ireland and China.”
The complete lack of skills amongst the Irish volunteers, and the high costs associated with the import of materials soon led to a change of focus by the charity. During the annual week-long “building blitz” – soon to be renamed, as someone has pointed out that the word ‘blitz’ actually refers to an historical event in which thousands of homes were destroyed by bombs, not built – 2,000 Irish people will now flock to Cape Town for a massive drinking binge, and participants will be invited to the townships to watch the Africans build their own shacks.
“It’ll be great”, enthused one inebriated student, “we’ll really feel we’re being a part of something, you know, important, like. You know, like people who are poor, like making their own houses out of shit.”
Lemon himself mused, “We did think of making the houses anyway, and letting the Africans have a bit of a blitz themselves, you know like, completely destroying them. But then we thought, that’d be too much like what the Niall Mellon Township Trust does.”