Ministry of Social Development commemorates International Day of Families in Mkhondo – SABC News

Social Development Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu says emphasizing the importance of family is one of the department’s main areas of focus.

She was addressing communities at the KwaNdwalaza Royal Palace in Mkhondo, Mpumalanga on the issue of social issues.

The ministry’s visit was part of the commemoration of International Day of Families under the theme “Families and urbanization” which was part of this year for Social Development Month celebrations.

The small rural village of Kwandalaza, outside Mkhondo, faces various social challenges including poverty, unemployment, sexual abuse and child-headed households.

Young people in the neighborhood still feel uncomfortable talking about sexual abuse and as a result do not report these crimes to the police, which worries residents.

A member of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi William Mahlangu, said the government should act quickly to address the challenges facing rural communities.

In particular, he raised the challenge of unused land held by the government.

“We believe that if the state can cede this particular land to traditional authorities and their communities, it can be used fruitfully to reduce poverty and unemployment,” says Inkosi Mahlangu.

Meanwhile, Bogopane-Zulu says they are aware of the challenges facing residents and have invited different departments to help including Departments of Home Affairs, Justice, South African Police Service (Saps) as well as healthcare workers.

“From the profiling we’ve done here, we now know who has what skill set, who’s unemployed and what interests them, because that’s part of the profiling. And how do we support families so that we don’t continue to build orphanages or remove children from their communities,” says Bogopane-Zulu.

The Deputy Minister also launched the Families Matter program, which aims to strengthen community response by supporting traditional leadership structures to advocate for GVB in line with Goal 4 of the National Strategic Policy.

The department says it will visit other rural communities facing similar challenges in the country.

Joel C. Hicks