Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, joined hundreds of residents from Harry Gwala District Municipality in commemorating World Aids Day at the eMagqubeni Sports Stadium in the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma local municipality Ward 6. 

Hlomuka who is the Political Champion of the District, thanked the work done by the Aids Council in the District, as it continues to work with communities to reduce the spreading of HIV/AIDS. “We commend the work done by the council in this district in spreading the word on protection, abstinence and the importance of testing for HIV/AIDS. The significant improvement we witness today is a result of the concerted efforts by the Aids Council in this District,” said Hlomuka.

The Harry Gwala District is one of the Districts that are receiving support from the provincial government to achieve epidemic control by December 2020. This is in line with the 90-90-90 concept that was introduced by the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in 2013 to which set targets that had to be achieved by 2020 if the world wanted to make a significant dent in controlling the pandemic. 

The set of goals were that 90% of HIV infected people should know their status; 90% of those who know their status should be initiated on antiretroviral therapy and 90% of those on treatment should be virally suppressed. All this will be achieved by 2020.

At the commemoration, Hlomuka led the hundreds gathered in lightning the candles of remembrance in honour of the lives that have perished because of this disease.

The Chairperson of the KZN Provincial House of Traditional Leaders Inkosi P.D.H Chiliza who is also the Chairperson for the Harry Gwala local house condemned the scourge of abuse of women and children and called upon residents to play their part in combating this scourge. “As the institution of traditional leadership, we condemn the ongoing war that is waged against our women and children by men who behave like animals. As communities we have to take a stand and say not in our communities; this is the only way we will stamp out this scourge,” said Chiliza.