Minister Mbombo inspects progress on safety, wellness projects in Drakenstein
The Western Cape Government is running several successful projects in the Drakenstein Municipality, falling under the Province’s Strategic Plan.
Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, visited Drakenstein on Friday to inspect implementation of the provincial government’s Strategic Goal 3 projects (PSG 3). PSG 3 aims to increase wellness, safety and tackle social ills within communities.
Minister Mbombo had the opportunity to witness first-hand progress on several projects, including the Community Safety Improvement Partnership, Teachable Moments programme, the WOW! Initiative, and the First 1000 Days campaign.
Chrysalis Academy and Neighbourhood Watch efforts
Minister Mbombo visited the Chrysalis Wolwekloof Academy, a youth development project. During the visit, the Minister had the opportunity to meet the Academy’s recent graduates who now provide support to local law enforcement authorities by manning Community Safety Kiosks located in the heart of the community.
The graduates put on a drill display to mark the Minister’s visit to the project.
The academy aims to empower youth to become balanced, rounded and productive members of communities. The initiative comes as a response to high crime rate in the Western Cape, driven by substance abuse and an active gang culture in Cape Town’s mainly disadvantaged communities.
Government has also helped to initiate a local Neighbourhood Watch consisting of 30 volunteers.
Reducing harms caused by the abuse of alcohol within the community is a major focus of this initiative. Through the support of the community and local business, local shebeens no longer sell alcohol past 10 pm – promoting responsible sale and consumption of alcohol within the community.
The neighbourhood watch also performs regular patrols on bicycles provided by government, regularly confiscating dangerous weapons which would otherwise be used for crime. The Western Cape Department of Health has further aided the neighbourhood watch by providing each of its members with first-aid training.
All of these safety-related projects fall under the provincial government’s Community Safety Improvement Partnership (CSIP).
The key priorities of the CSIP are to Promote Professional Policing, Safety Partnerships and Secure Public Spaces. Key partners include the South African Police Service (SAPS), Drakenstein Municipality, Community Police Forums, Neighbourhood Watch structures, and the Department of Community Safety.
The Teachable Moments project is a brand new intervention for encouraging behavioural change in road users who drive under the influence of alcohol and other substances.
The programme is being piloted at Paarl Hospital and officially started on 15 August 2016.
Four counsellors have been trained to screen patients presenting to the Hospital’s Emergency centre with an injury arising from substance abuse.
A brief intervention is immediately is provided to patients at risk of substance abuse or related harms. They are also provided with an opportunity to return to the facility for further sessions with councillors.
Already in operation at Khayelitsha Hospital, the project has found that 72 % of interventions in Khayelitsha relate to alcohol abuse, 14 % to the use of illicit drugs and a further 14 % to polysubstances.
Western Cape on Wellness (WOW!) project
The Western Cape on Wellness Project (WOW!), promotes a healthy lifestyle movement across the province. As part of the visit, the Minister had the opportunity to visit local WOW! club members who run their own food garden as part of their club’s project.
The WOW! initiative follows a partnership approach to preventing and reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases, including obesity, by promoting physical activity, healthy eating and a healthy weight.
The project encourages all members of communities to make healthy lifestyle choices and engage in physical activity whether at work, home or schools. The overarching aim is to create and expand a culture of wellness in the Western Cape.
First 1000 Days
Another successful project is the First 1000 Days campaign, which drives our approach to improving the wellness of children from conception, moving through pregnancy, birth, and after the first two years of life. This programme is central to the government’s vision for healthy children, within healthy families and healthy communities.
During the visit, Minister Mbombo had the opportunity to see the programme’s implementation through a community road show designed to educate mothers and care givers on the importance of securing the First 1000 days of a child’s life.
The work done by the projects in Drakenstein serve as shining example of how the Western Cape government is committed to addressing health, safety and social ills by supporting healthy communities, a healthy workforce, healthy families, youth and children.
Spokesperson to the Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo
Tel: 021 483 5862