PPRETORIA, 03 December 2020 – Traditional Leaders sector launched the Communities Matter Survey in 20 Districts, supported by the South African National AIDS Council Civil Society Forum (SANAC CSF) by 25 sector leaders approached the UN Agencies through the Office of the South African UN Resident Coordinator for support of the Community Based Measures Strategy for COVID-19.
The Traditional Leaders sector with its Chiefs mobilised 50 mobilisers in all 9 provinces and operational in 20 districts. The objective is to implement Advocacy, Social Mobilisation and Communications & Public Awareness aspects of the Community Based Measures Strategy for COVID-19. Implement social and behaviour change campaigns at community level through civil society sectors in identified districts by deploying and supporting community mobilisers to use the Community Matters web-based platform to promote social cohesion, solidarity, address stigma and reach a minimum of 800 community members. The objective is to provide sector specific insights and activities to input into a mass media and communications campaign (I am, You are, We are together in ending COVID-19).
As of today, the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases is 792 299 with 2 295 new cases identified since the last report. Today as recorded in sacoronavirus.co.za we have the following provinces with the highest Covid19 cases: Gauteng 235193 (29,7%), Western Cape 132865 (16,8%), (Eastern Cape 128889 (16,3%), KwaZulu-Natal 128152 (16,2%). Source https://sacoronavirus.co.za/2020/12/01/update-on-covid-19-01st-december-2020/.
At local level the impact from Covid19 and drastic changes in day to day lives are felt the hardest. Job losses suffered by already impoverished members of our communities is on a rise. Most of these people have been hit hard by social-economic hardships from Covid19, are consulting their Traditional Healers to put things into perspective and to give practical guidance of what can be done today in order to have hope for a better tomorrow.
SANAC CSF Traditional Leaders sector Solly Nduku said, “According to the Quarterly employment statistics (QES) survey released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) 600K formal sector jobs during COVID-19 lockdown. We must remember that in this country most families are under normal circumstances are living below poverty lines. As a result many are depressed and currently suffer from mental health. The combination of job loss and poor health is a stigmatising.”
He added, “In South African we have about 55,000 children living in a total of 33,000 child-only households across South Africa in 2018. This could be because of parents who lost their lives from HIV. While children living in child-only households are rare relative to those residing in other household forms, the number of children living in this extreme situation is of concern. (source http://childrencount.uct.ac.za/indicator.php?domain=1&indicator=17)
Mabalane Mfundisi, Show Me Your Number (SMYN) Executive Director and SANAC Civil Society Forum (CSF) Sports, Arts Culture sector leader mentioned that “The stats and figures could not tell us how each and every one of the children in child-only households have experienced hunger. They could never indicate to us the desperate measure Adolescent Girls and Young Women do to feed their brothers and sister. Number don’t express how people are discriminated by their community without understanding why certain people are experiencing the same calamity differently.”
Communities Matter Survey will give us insights that will form strategies that could be tackled by a multi-sectorial stakeholders to ensure more meaningful impact at grass roots. The participation by SANAC CSF is more effective because of the way the organisation is structured. We are highly strategic in our drafting of policies, we are inclusive when we create programmes and efficient in implementation at district and local level. We will share the dates of the Communities Matter Survey results in the second quarter of 2021.
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