As a way of lending a helping hand to the destitute members of the community around eThekwini, the department hosted a Social Partnership Engagement Programme on Saturday, 21 August 2021 at Mnini Thusong Centre.

This was made possible by the strong partnership fostered by the Public Participation chief directorate under the leadership of the Acting DDG Local Government Ms Funi Makhanya with social partners on behalf of the department.

Touched by this outstanding initiative led by the department, other members of the KwaZulu-Natal Executive Council, MEC for Transport Ms Peggy Nkonyeni and the MEC for Human Settlements also participated in the day’s programme.

As a highlight of all spheres of government working towards one common goal, the Speaker of eThekwini Ms Weziwe Thusi as well as other local and traditional leaders took part in the programme.

To kickstart the day’s proceedings, the Principals were joined by women when they led a march to raise awareness and call for an end to the abuse of women and children.

The fight against gender-based violence remains one of the government’s key and crucial programmes. The relief programme was targeted at households that are in dire need as a result of the recent public unrest that impacted large parts of the eThekwini metro where billions of rands worth of private and public infrastructure were damaged.

Through the relief programme, 300 women-headed households benefitted from donations of groceries. Social partners included SANTACO, Icebolethu Foundation, eThekwini Metro as well the city’s Biker Community. In addition to the 300 women-headed households which benefitted from donations of groceries, a total of 7 sewing machines were handed over to a woman-owned company that manufactures taxi seat covers.

The women were identified by SANTACO through its Women’s Desk which ensures that widows of taxi owners are absorbed into the business and continue to provide for their families. Delivering the keynote address, the MEC for Transport Ms Peggy Nkonyeni applauded COGTA for engaging in the social partnership programme. She also encouraged women to venture into viable initiatives to boost their economic stability.

“The government presents a lot of business opportunities for women to upskill themselves in the business industry and you should grab them with both hands to take care of yourselves and your families,” said Nkonyeni.