MATAT VIEWPOINT

2018-11-09 06:00

WARM greetings to readers of this column.

TAKING SERVICES TO THE PEOPLE

As part of taking government services closer to the people, Matatiele local municipality, together with various government departments, visited Chibini village in ward five on October 24.

Services on wheels were rendered to communities under a programme called Integrated Community Registration Outreach Programme (ICROP), which is championed by the Matatiele Sassa­ office.

ICROP is the programme mandated by government to reach different wards in the remote areas of the Eastern Cape.

During ICROP, a number of service delivery innovations to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of its services are taken care of.

The agency and the department of social developments conducted household profiles in ward five, which revealed that many of them live below the poverty line. Some of the challenges identified prior to the programme include: unavailability of birth certificates, children living with disabilities not accessing special schools, high rate of drug abuse, unemployment, lack of knowledge about HIV/AIDS, and crime related activities. As a short-term intervention, the agency coordinated with all partners to take services to the people of wards five and seven and handed over ten school uniforms and food parcels to address the immediate needs of the identified households.

Delivering the keynote address, Cllr. Nomonde Nkukhu, Portfolio Head for Economic Development & Planning, applauded government departments for delivering their services collectively and sharing resources.

“This indeed shows the effectiveness of intergovernmental relations at the local level,” said Cllr Nkukhu.

SERVICES RENDERED INCLUDED:

Sassa — The agency registered about 535 people on the day. A total of 25 new applications on various grants were received. Two provincial transfers were done, two cancellations and 19 card swaps.

Department of health, Maluti Sub-District — Head count, 20. Dental screening to 60 people and further provided tooth paste and tooth brushes (to encourage hygiene). The department rendered these services: HCT, HIV testing, diabetes, and other health related services.

Department of Home Affairs — Assisted 30 people who were enquiring about Home Affairs services.

DEDEAT — Received 15 enquiries.

Road Accident Fund — Assisted five people.

Khotsong TB Hospital — TB screening and 15 HIV tests.

Social Development — Assisted 15 people.

MINI-LIBRARY FOR THE DEAF LAUNCHED

Matatiele local municipality hosted the launch of a mini-library for the blind on October 24 at Cedarville in ward 26. This initiative was done in partnership with the Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) and the South African library for the Blind foundation.

The event was well-represented by all the stakeholders involved, with representatives from DSRAC, the district disability forum, honourable councillors and management from Matatiele local municipality. A speech by a representative from DSRAC, Mrs. Gcadinja­, touched on the element of respect, this when she was directly addressing the youth from Cedarville High who were in attendance to render entertainment items at the event. Mrs. Gcadinja mentioned the need for youth to get back to basics and get back to the original forms of addressing and speaking to their elders, as they might lose their heritage to the commonly used slang which is mostly used currently.

The keynote address was delivered by Mrs. Lydia Marques from the South African library for the blind. She gave a background about the South African library for the blind and the service they were bringing to the people of Matatiele.

The mini-library for the blind is based at the Cedarville community library, where they have created a designated area which is equipped with all the special equipment which has been made available for the partially blind and blind people. The equipment available at the library includes computers with special audio software that can narrate books for the blind, special book reading machines, and braille equipment.

The library staff were trained on how to utilise the equipment.

The South African library for the blind will also be providing transport for the blind in all wards of Matatiele once a month so they can visit the library.

The portfolio head of community services Cllr Sicelo Maphasa gave the vote of thanks, emphasising that this initiative is key in keeping with the commitment that Matatiele local municipality has made towards the advancement of education and ensuring that all gender groups are catered for.

He also commended the positive partnership formed by the three government entities.

“This is a perfect symbolism of what intergovernmental relations should be,” added Cllr Maphasa.

“We are a Destination of Choice and Excellence.”

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