Government's partnerships to fight HIV gaining traction

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Deputy President David Mabuza says government has taken a collaborative approach in its fight against HIV and Aids and Tuberculosis (TB), which is yielding results. 

The Deputy President said this when he appeared before Members of Parliament in the National Assembly to respond to oral questions on Tuesday. 

He said government’s success in responding to the fight against TB calls for a more holistic intervention by all sectors of society, including leaders across government and business. 

“We have made substantial progress in terms of collaborative work with the institutions of traditional leadership. 

“The SA National Aids Council participated in the induction of new leadership of the National House of Traditional Leaders in February this year. This followed on the national pledge they had made as traditional leaders in December 2017 in the Eastern Cape to meet the fight against HIV and TB. 

“Subsequently, there were engagements with traditional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal to lead the fight against HIV and Aids and TB. The commemoration of World TB Day [in March] was implemented in partnership with the royal household and the provincial house of traditional leaders. This was officiated under the leadership and support of his majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini,” Mabuza said. 

The Deputy President said government is planning to make a series of follow-ups with other traditional leaders and the broader civil society to intensify this fight. 

Plans to have premiers, mayors chair provincial and local Aids councils 

Mabuza said, meanwhile, that collaborations with traditional councils was part of government’s acknowledgement of the important role that traditional leaders can play not only in the fight against HIV and Aids and TB, but to all other social ills that are bedevilling society. 

“The vision of the Presidency is to ensure that all Aids councils at provincial and district levels are chaired by premiers and mayors respectively with no delegation to lower levels. 

“This is meant to strengthen leadership at other levels beyond the national sphere, where this has been much more visible and coherent,” he said. 

The Deputy President said government will focus on strengthening the capacity of provincial and district councils to roll out targeted programmes that are aimed at community mobilisation and activism towards the fight against these challenges. 

“As part of the planning and implementation process, the premiers and mayors will be expected to sign off their provincial and district plans, which will be guiding the framework for the implementation of various initiatives. 

“Our key interest… will be assessing the functionality and effectiveness of these structures tasked with the issues of HIV and Aids as well as fighting TB and other social ills,” he said. –