14 Dec 2015
Address by the Minister of Communications, Ms Faith Muthambi (MP), at Willowfontein Imbizo in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal
Sunday, 13 December 2015
Time to give back to the community
Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini
Residents of Willowfontein and neighbouring townships;
Members of the Provincial Legislature present here;
All public representatives in attendance today;
Cllr Chris Ndlela
Ward Cllr Sibusiso Mkhize
Sanibonani nonke, Ninjani!
It is an honour for me to be afforded the opportunity by my colleague, Minister Bathabile Dlamini to be part of a very special handover of homes to two families from the community. December is important in our nation’s calendar and that of the world. We gather at a time when we fondly remember the father of our nation and international icon Nelson Mandela.
On the 5th of December we marked the second anniversary of his death. Nelson Mandela had left an indelible mark on our society having laid the foundation for a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society. He was unwavering in his commitment to justice, equality and building a non-racial South Africa. His profound message of impacting the life of those around us continues to resonate in our society and inspires us to be better human beings.
This time of the year takes on a special significance where it is more than just remembering Madiba’s life; it is an opportunity to live his legacy to contribute to a better country and a better world. Today we will do just that as we celebrate his life under the theme: “Giving back to the community.”
I’m revisiting the community of Willowfontein in honour of the legacy of Madiba. Today we put into practice a principle that he promoted during his life, which is giving back to our communities. Today we are here to give back to the community of Willowfontein. I am also here because His Excellency President Jacob Zuma has deployed me to engage directly with you on the issues that most affect your community and obtain your input on how best we can deal with these matters together.
This is my third visit to the Willowfontein area in the past 12 months following the Presidential Imbizo which took place here in September last year and we are making good progress in dealing with challenges that the community raised with His Excellency the President, Members of Cabinet, Provincial and Local Government who accompanied the President during this Imbizo. During my pervious visit I had noted your concerns and a number of steps has been taken to address them.
For example during my first visit I heard that there were several cases of people in the community who did not have Identity Documents. Together with Home Affairs and GCIS in KwaZulu Natal, we have ensured that these community members were provided with Identity Documents which now allow them to take their rightful place as part of our society. Importantly, it also provides them with access to an array of government services such as social grants.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In his 2015 State of the Nation Address, President Zuma called for more public-private partnerships to create jobs and build an inclusive country where all South Africans enjoy equal privileges. Public and private partnership is key to expanding service delivery in the country. Over the past seven years, we have progressively increased the number of public-private partnerships covering a wide range of sectors.
I can proudly say that it is through this public-private partnership that we are able to provide houses to two families in the Willowfontein community. We welcome and appreciate the role played by the private sector in the construction of the houses we are handing over today.
This partnership, however, could also not have worked without the excellent support of the Msunduzi Municipality under Cllr Chris Ndlela and the local Ward Cllr Mr Sbu Mkhize.
We all know that a decent house is central to a quality life. It supports the growth and development of a family. In particular, children are much healthier, have greater confidence and do better at school. It is for this reason the government has made the provision of decent houses across the country a priority. According the 2014 Development Indicators, South Africa has made good progress in the provision of housing.
The number of households in the country have increased from 10.8 million to 15.6 million between 2002 and 2014. The Department of Human Settlements continues to implement various programmes to create sustainable human settlements and improving the quality of life for all residents.
Today we continue to build on this good progress by handing over these two houses to the Mathe and Mkhize families. I want to highlight that in the process of building these houses we had created employment for the duration of the project. It also included the transfer of important skills that equipped and trained workers.
Through similar infrastructure development projects as part of our Nine-Point Plan we are creating more job opportunities and building the required infrastructure that will help move our country forward.
Today let us celebrate the efforts our government is making to change the lives of the people for the better. In particular, we celebrate with the two families here today who will enjoy the upcoming festive season in their new homes.
In the spirit of Mandela and his enduring legacy of giving back to the community, I officially hand over these houses to the Mathe and Mkhize families. We wish them many happy memories as they make these houses a home.
Issued by GCIS on behalf of the Department of Communications