Themes and activities of Social Development Month

Social development month, an initiative of the department of social development, will focus on enhancing access to basic services. It will also be a time of government interaction with communities — particularly those who are disadvantaged — and informing them about government services.

Other focal points of social development month are:

  • Promoting development programmes and projects that meaningfully impact on people’s lives, such as sustainable livelihoods and other community development initiatives.
  • Addressing key challenges of HIV and Aids, unemployment, gender-based violence, substance abuse and other related challenges.
  • Promoting effective inter- governmental relations and broader partnerships relating to social development programmes.

Key programmes
Building on the successes of previous years and as part of taking government to the people, the department of social development will focus on key programmes that will bring about sustainable improvement in the well-being of individuals, families and communities. Social development month’s key activities will be linked to the following thematic areas:

  • Engaging communities in development as part of the ‘Taking DSD to Communities’ campaign. The focus and envisaged result of engaging communities is to increase community participation in the development process. Participation of the community is vital for ownership of projects and for sustainability purposes.
  • Promoting the human rights of older persons. As part of the implementation of the Madrid plan of action on ageing, the department of social development will co-host this year’s Golden Games with the department of sports. The Golden Games is a vehicle to promote active ageing and intergenerational solidarity. It will also be a means to popularise the Older Persons Act (Act 13 of 2006). The department of social development will also commemorate international day of older persons and grandparents day.
  • Traditional leaders. Chapter 12 of the Constitution recognises the institution, status and the role of traditional leadership in development. To give effect to this, the department of social development will work towards strengthening partnerships for development with traditional leaders to ensure that they play an important role for the development of their communities.
  • Victim empowerment. As part of this year’s activities the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, will officially open the Khuseleka One-Stop Centre for victims of abuse and violence in Polokwane, Limpopo, on October 5.
  • Social mobilisation. Following the approval of the substance abuse programme of action and the integrated social crime prevention strategy by Cabinet, the department of social development will intensify the implementation of social crime prevention programmes and the anti-substance abuse campaign.
  • Engaging communities and stakeholders in the popularisation of the green paper on families.

This article originally appeared in the Mail & Guardian newspaper as a sponsored feature

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