Touching lives moving people

Sunday, July 20, 2014
Gabi Khumalo

Bojanala – For Ntshabele Virginia’s six-year-old niece life will never be the same again, thanks to the new crutches she received to help her move freely around.

Every time Virginia needed to go out, she would carry her niece on her back, as she couldn’t walk by herself. For the first time, on Sunday, Virginia’s niece was able to walk on her own, after Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini handed over a pair of crutches to the little girl.

Virginia, who became emotional after receiving the crutches for her niece, said she was very happy for the assistance.

“She is now able to walk on her own. The crutches came at the right time since she is going to school next year, in Brits, and it would be easier for her to cope,” Virginia said.

Minister Dlamini, who conducted a Ministerial Outreach Programme at Sefikile, in Bojanala District, handed out vegetables, blankets and wheelchairs to needy families.

The minister’s visit forms part of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Revitalisation of Distressed Mining Communities. It also forms part of the Nelson Mandela Day Programme, which coincides with the Imbizo Focus Week.

Speaking to SAnews, Minister Dlamini explained that the visit is a continuation of the programme announced by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address, last month, to improve the living conditions of mining communities.

She said they have completed community profiling in five wards and are still continuing with household profiling.

“So far we have found 17 Early Childhood Development Centres -- seven are funded by government and ten were not registered. We have partially registered the ten which will soon get food and resources as part of being on the government’s system,” the minister said.

She added that the department will train 40 Non-Profit Organisations and ensure that they are incubated for a period of 12 months.

“We’ve started with psycho social services since that is the most important part for healing the community. We will remain here after the event and continue to support the community.”

She further noted that even before the mining strike, which lasted five months, research done on poverty in South Africa, listed the North West as the second poorest province.

“Yes, communities are hurt and bleeding, but as government we have to rise above an occasion and ensure that they develop and gain skills to ensure that they improve the quality of their lives,” Minister Dlamini said.

Meanwhile, Minister Dlamini urged elders in Sefikile to establish support groups for young people, who return from rehabilitation centres for alcohol and substance abuse.

She said the department will work with the community to strengthen programmes for school dropouts, HIV and Aids, alcohol and substance abuse, as well as moral regeneration.

She also encouraged elders to register for old age grants. –

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