Premier uncovers successes in CT communities
Media release: Uncovering successes
In the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) ongoing endeavour to create opportunities and hope in often difficult times, Premier Alan Winde visited Elsies River and Parow this week to meet individuals and organisations that are stepping up to build their communities.
The Premier was accompanied by Western Cape Social Development Minister Sharna Fernandez. They visited a recently constructed five-a-side soccer pitch near the Elsies River Civic Centre which used to be an illegal dumping hotspot. The transformation of the site is extraordinary. A local councillor and his team had had enough of the area being misused. They took their vision of the piece of land being developed for the benefit the community, especially the youth, and turned it into a reality. The R5.5 million world-class five-a-side soccer pitch comes complete with a playground and is situated near the local public swimming pool. Communities from beyond Elsies River also come to use the grounds. The idea is to have the sports feature form part of a multi-service node. Premier Winde was deeply impressed: “These kinds of developments are but one way to offer, particularly to young people, a pastime, something to do after school to give them optimism. I also want to congratulate and thank the councillor and his colleagues for the hard work done to develop this site.” After trying his hand, or in this case his feet, at some soccer, the Premier opted to instead stick to his regular job.
The delegation’s next stop was the Elsies River Clinic, where the Premier and Minister paid an unannounced visit. The facility is in the process of being transferred from the City of Cape Town to the Provincial Government. Premier Winde told a healthcare worker who took him on a tour of the clinic, that by taking over the facility, the WCG will add to its high-quality of service delivery. A long queue that stretched out the door was another reminder of the critical need to constantly expand services in priority areas such as healthcare and wellness. “In everything we do, any decisions we as the WCG take, the citizens must come first and benefit from better services,” he told the official.
The Premier’s trip took him to Parow next, where he and Minister Fernandez were given a tour of the newly refurbished Mold Empower Serve (MES) Centre of Hope. An encouraging public-private partnership - that involved the Western Cape Social Development Department – it has transformed a building in the area into something more than just a shelter for homeless people. It is also a facility that helps rehabilitate and reintegrate people living on the street. MES, is a non-profit organisation that along with its partners, manages the centre. They offer basic skills training, such as sewing.
“Homelessness is a complex issue which needs a host of interventions and collaborations to help this vulnerable group of people. By refurbishing the building, MES has stepped up to partner with the WCG to help address this issue. The Centre of Hope is an amazing facility that goes beyond only offering temporary shelter to homeless people. It has also developed innovative programmes to skill them to try get them back on their feet so they can become active economic citizens once again,” the Premier said.
“I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to meet individuals and organisations such as those that I met on my visits this week. They remind me of the purpose and role of government and inspire me to work even harder. Our job as government is to provide an enabling environment where our citizens can thrive and take advantage of opportunities. Individuals and organisations like the ones that I met demonstrate again what can be done when we as government support them,” concluded Premier Winde.