GOVERNMENT BRINGS SERVICES TO THE SWANEVILLE COMMUNITY

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By Madali Chibambu

  • The Gauteng Department of Social Development, led by the Sustainable Livelihoods Unit, identifies Swaneville in Krugersdorp as a hotspot for unreported cases of gender-based violence (GBV), as revealed during a door-to-door visit.
  • Lack of access to services and fear of retaliation prevent many women from reporting abuse to the police, highlighting the urgent need for support structures in the community, as stated by Gauteng Department of Community representative Ncumisa Ndamase.
  • Following the door-to-door visit, a Service Delivery Blitz campaign was organized to provide essential services to Swaneville residents, including skills development training, HIV testing and counselling, and educational support, aiming to empower individuals and address the root causes of GBV.

The Gauteng Department of Social Development has identified Swaneville in Krugersdorp as having a high rate of unreported cases of gender-based violence (GBV). That’s according to the Sustainable Livelihoods Unit, Mante Nchabeleng.

Nchabeleng said this was revealed during a door-to-door visit to the area. This was also confirmed by the Gauteng Department of Community Ncumisa Ndamase, who was part of the door-to-door, who said that women are abused daily by their partners but fail to report the matter to the police due to the lack of services.

“Most women complained about travelling long distances to Kagiso Police Station, which is the nearest currently. Some are unemployed, and they are scared to report the breadwinners of the families,” says Ndamse.

“During the door-to-door visits, most women could come out and talk about their living conditions, and officials could help them and refer them to the relevant stakeholders to receive counselling. Some were assisted to open abuse cases with the police,” added Ndamse.

On Monday, the Gauteng Department of Social Development joined forces with other government departments to bring services to Swaneville through the Service Delivery Blitz campaign held at the local ward offices. Nchabeleng says this service delivery blitz was a follow-up to the door-to-door visit and a subsequent visit to the area by Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, where multiple state department services to be brought into the area were agreed upon.

A mother of two, Melita Mashau (32), was happy when she left the service blitz after Sustainable Livelihood assisted her with the skills development training enrolment. “I will have to take my children to my mother when I start attending the training because such an opportunity comes once. I thought it was the end for me since I have two children with different fathers. I am going to start my baking and cooking business when I complete my training, although I’m relying on a child support grant, which is not enough,” she said.

Departments such as Health offered HIV testing and counselling; Home Affairs assisted with the application of smart cards; and Social Development also invited cooperatives to display their work, which inspired many. The Department of Education received youth who wanted to rewrite Grade 12. Some community members pleaded with the department to bring another service blitz because one day is not enough.

Mercy Mokoena says the Department of Education assisted her with the nearest school where she can rewrite her Grade 12.

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