The Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, will visit Jozini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal province to engage the community on service delivery improvement initiatives that can be introduced in the area.
In order to address the prevailing social challenges in poor wards and improve its service delivery model, the department has launched a service delivery improvement strategy – Project Mikondzo. Through Mikondzo, the department wants to increase its footprint and reach every corner of South Africa with its services. The aim is to improve responsiveness to the needs of the people and break down the structural barriers created by apartheid that placed government far from people.
The visit to Jozini is the second visit by Minister Dlamini to the area. She met the community of Umkhanyakude District, Jozini Municipality during November 2012 following a report received from the National Department of Health that there was a high number of malnourished children in the area.
The November 2012 visit uncovered a number of social challenges in the area, including a lack of formal early childhood development (ECD) centres, high rate of teenage pregnancy, abuse of the elderly, abuse and neglect of people living with disabilities, women abuse, alcohol and substance abuse as well as youth unemployment.
Progress has been made in addressing these challenges since the Minister’s visit. For instance, there are now ninety six (96) funded ECD centres under Jozini Municipal area, and awareness campaigns (for social behaviour change) were held in various schools and community structures across all wards of Jozini Municipality to curb teenage pregnancy.
On the issues of domestic violence, a social cohesion programme – Azibuye Emasisweni – has been launched as a response to incidents of elderly, women and children abuse in the area. This was a joint initiative by the Departments of Social Development, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs aimed at engaging communities on issues of moral decay on the premise that communities have capacity and indigenous knowledge to address their own social issues.
The department is further working with and funding the Ophondweni Youth Development Initiative – an NGO working to curb substance abuse among youth in the area. The Department’s Ke-Moja – I’m fine without drugs campaign has also reached out to nine hundred and seventy four (974) children, four hundred and seventy six (476) youth in schools.
The Minister’s visit, therefore, will serve to monitor progress on these and other social development initiatives in the area and further find ways to speed up and improve service delivery to address challenges in the community.
Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the visit which will take place as follows:
Venue: Ophondweni (next to Ophondweni Clinic) Ward 9
Date: 6 September 2013
Media confirmations may be forwarded to:
Tel: 012 312 7793
Cell: 073 026 1111
Media enquiries may be directed to:
Cell: 083 4848067