KZN committed to fighting corruption

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The KwaZulu-Natal province has affirmed its commitment to fighting fraud and corruption, reducing unauthorised, irregular, fruitless as well as wasteful expenditure.

“We will apply a zero tolerance approach in dealing with those who are found guilty of these transgressions,” KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu said.

Delivering his State of the Province Address on Wednesday, he said the province will conduct lifestyle audits of officials in high risk positions and they will be starting with the Supply Chain Management Units. This will be done in collaboration with South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Prevention programmes to reduce HIV infections

Over a three year period, the Provincial Government mobilised R419 million from the Global Fund to implement prevention programmes to reduce new HIV infections and fight TB among adolescent girls, young women and vulnerable populations and to improve the quality of their lives.

“Through this Programme, we provided 16 574 young women and boys with life skills-based HIV education, counselling and testing, peer support, teen parenting and child protection programmes,” Premier Mchunu said.

In the year to come, the province will reach 20 000 young women in ages 19-24 with comprehensive risk reduction package of services including empowerment incentives.

Additionally, the province will deliver a combination prevention package to 141 191 vulnerable people living in informal settlements, on farms and targeting young women and their families in the identified high burdened areas of the province.

The province will also provide much needed additional infrastructure in the form of 10 Mobile Units, 1 Mobile X-ray unit, 8 Motor cycles and IT equipment.

“The programme will also create more than 600 job opportunities for both professionals and non- professional staff. More than 10 non-governmental and community based organizations will be subcontracted to implement interventions for the programme,” he said.

Universal Test and Treat (UTT) programme

The drive for the reduction in new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women is further supported by the “Dreams” initiative, in partnership with PEPFAR, the Gates Foundation and the Nike foundation, which is now ready for implementation in the uMgungundlovu and Umkhanyakude districts, as well as in eThekwini.

“The 90-90-90 HIV management strategy is being implemented through the Universal Test and Treat (UTT) programme which is aimed at reducing the number of new infections,” Premier Mchunu said.

UTT started in September 2017 and aims to increase access to HIV testing and initiation of treatment for those who test HIV positive.

In the last year, the province recorded 11 284 597 patients receiving Anti-Retroviral Treatment; 2 047 449 HIV Tests done; and 150 918 Male Medical Circumcisions were performed.

The province is now approaching the one million mark.

“We have also followed through on our commitment to intensify our fight against TB and our treatment success rate over the last year reached the 88% mark,” Premier Mchunu said.

The province has also made progress on the rollout of the Phila Mntwana Centres in which it continues to provide post-natal care and education, as well as the identification of children with incomplete immunisation schedules.

A total of 1 045 of these centres have been established throughout the province and more than 300 000 children were scanned at these centres over the last year. –

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