Impendle residents have named the KwaZulu-Natal MEC of Finance, Belinda Scott, ‘The Catalyst For Change’ for championing the course to salvage the community from the grip of social ills.
MEC Scott declared war on social ills that plague the community in the deep rural Impendle Municipality, saying residents must take charge of their destiny.
“It is important that communities work together so that social ills are dealt with in a comprehensive way. There are quite a few social ills in this environment, but this place is also fortunate to have good leadership to manage these social ills. It brings me pleasure to come here to listen to the community hitches and to hear what the interventions from different government departments are. We will not rest until there is social-order in this community,” she said.
Local iNkosi of Abatlokwa Tribal Authority, iNkosi Nosipho Molefe, and Impendle Mayor, Cllr Senzo Ndlela approached MEC Scott who is also a Political Champion MEC for uMgungundlovu District and asked for her urgent intervention as people in the area were leaving in constant fear of rape, murder, assault and break ins. An urgent local imbizo, to tackle social ills head on, was organised where residents told MEC Scott that the area is troubled by drug addicts who have no regard for the rule of law.
“It is the jungle out there. Our youth are into drugs and they live wild. When they have consumed their demons, we often get reports of raped women – young and old. We do not know when next they would hit. We live in constant fear. They break into houses and steal everything. If they find you inside, you are as good as dead. These hooligans don’t value human life at all,” says iNkosi Molefe.
Adding to this was Mayor Ndlela who gave the purpose of the day and said that “we are worried that the social ills are wiping off the future of the local youth. Many teenage girls have fallen pregnant and quit school; teachers find it difficult to teach because drug peddlers have found market in our youth in schools. How does a teacher do his work in class when there are disruptive learners that make learning impossible?”
At the meeting the willingness to work together amongst the people from all walks of life was apparent. MEC Scott and the local leadership including religious sector, business sector, and different government departments, including SAPS, committed in working together to tackle these social ills with speed.
The campaign was launched at Esiminza in Stoffelton at Impendle under the banner of Operation Sukuma Sakhe (Stand up and build), the first of its kind to be launched in the area, in a bid to fight the scourge of drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, prostitution, circumcision misnomers, crime and domestic violence.
The day, started early in the morning with separate workshop meetings for women and men in separate venues to discuss some of the sensitive issues pertaining to different genders, like issues of prostitution and circumvention. Advice and counselling on social and human behaviour was dealt with in detail at these morning meetings. The day culminated to imbizo where leadership spoke strongly to all groups and where general issues were discussed further to both groups.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS