MATAT VIEWPOINT

2018-06-15 06:00

GREETINGS to all readers of this viewpoint.

Dear reader, welcome once again to our weekly update column.

YOUTH AT THE CENTRE OF RADICAL ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION

During the State of the Municipality Address (Soma) delivered by the mayor of Matatiele Local Municipality, Momelezi Mbedla, at Ramafole in Ward 24 on May 29, Mbedla vowed that Matatiele youth will be at the centre of the economic transformation agenda.

“Our most pressing challenge is youth unemployment. It is therefore a matter of great urgency that we draw young minds in far greater numbers into productive economic activity,” said Mbedla.

The mayor assured the more than 600 attendees that young people in Matatiele will be moved to the centre of the economic agenda.

This will be achieved by working in partnership with the business sector, organised labour and community representatives.

“We hope to create opportunities for young people to be exposed to the world of work through internships, apprenticeships, mentorship and entrepreneurship,” he said.

In June, South Africa is commemorating the Youth Month in line with government’s programme to celebrate the centenary year of Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu.

Youth Month 2018 will be commemorated under the theme Live the Legacy: Towards A Socio-Economically Empowered Youth.

MATATIELE LM DRAFT HIV IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

The Matatiele Local Municipality, as part of its concerted effort to respond to HIV, TB, and STI’s drafted its 2017-2022 HIV Implementation Plan.

Various stakeholders, including the Alfred Nzo District Municipality; MLM; sector departments; civil society groups; and Section 27 gathered in Matatiele from June 5 to June 6 to draft this implementation plan.

The plan seeks to drastically reduce new HIV infections in and around the Matatiele municipal area by 2022.

The number of people receiving anti-retroviral treatment (ART) is also planned to be doubled and significantly reduce TB infections and STIs.

The plan is well grounded in human rights principles and will focus on matters of equal treatment opportunity and social justice.

It will also focus more on an intensified concentration of locations with high instances of HIV, STIs and TB; adolescent girls and young women; and tailoring interventions for key and vulnerable populations disproportionally affected so that nobody is left behind. HIV prevention will be prioritised, this time through intensification of the combination prevention approach.

While delivering the 2018 Soma, Momelezi Mbedla pronounced that the plan will be implemented successfully if the Local AIDS Council sits on a quarterly basis as planned.

In this financial year, the structure managed to establish the Civil Society Forum.

This is the crucial structure that co-chairs the LAC with the mayor. The first Civil Society Forum chairperson for Matatiele municipality is Thato Monanabela.

At the centre of the LAC and the implementation plan work is the reduction of new HIV infections – we hope that, with the new blood on-board, we will record more positive strides in this regard.

This plan is aligned to the district and provincial plans that have already been produced.

Delegates stressed the fact that the ingredients for success are

there but, the ambitions of the plan will not be realised without exceptional leadership, effective implementation and adequate financing.

The goals of the HIV Implementation Plan are attainable, but, only if the plan is followed in its totality to achieve compounding benefits.

At the centre of success are crucial factors such as strengthening of systems, stakeholders heeding the call to action, and mobilisation of additional resources to bridge the funding gap.

“We are a Destination of Choice and Excellence.”

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