Speeches

Opening of Prince Albert Thusong Centre

14 September 2012

Geagte Burgemeester,

Raadslede,

Senior Bestuurders van Prince Albert Munisipaliteit,

Professionele diensverskaffers tot die projek,

Dames en here.

Six months ago on 29th March, during our Local Government Budget Speech in Parliament, we made a promise.

That promise was to have one fixed Thusong Centre in every local municipality by 2014.

Today is a great occasion as we fulfil that promise to the Prince Albert community by officially opening the Prince Albert Thusong Centre.

It is appropriate that government can make this contribution of the Thusong Centre to this community in the year that they celebrate their 250th birthday.

Thusong is a Sotho word that means “place of help” and that is what this centre will bring for the community. It will serve as the one-stop gateway of government services right at the community’s doorstep.

Dit was in die verlede moeilik vir sommige gemeeskapslede om toegang te kry tot die regeringsdienste wat hulle nodig gehad het.  Die dienste was soms ver weg van hul huise en oor die hele dorp geleë, wat beteken het dat daar lang afstande afgelê moes word en dat geld spandeer moes word voordat hulp verkry kon word.

Dit het ook beteken dat sommige mense ’n paar keer moes teruggaan voordat hulle die voordele van die verskeie regeringsprogramme kon geniet.

Nou, met die Thusong Sentrum, kan mense toegang tot hierdie noodsaaklike dienste en regerings ondersteuning onder een dak kry. Jy kan letterlik van een kamer tot die volgende gaan om al jou administrasie gedoen te kry eerder as om kilometers van punt A tot B te kom.   

 

The anchor departments in this centre include the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Labour, and the Department of Social Development.

 

This translates into easy access to ID’s, birth registrations, advice on labour issues and learnerships as well as access to grants. These are things that change people’s lives in our communities. 

Die Thusong Sentrum dien ook as ’n belangrike punt vir die gemeenskap om te vergader om plaaslike kwessies te bespreek, sowel as ’n plek vir mense om te gaan om inligting te kry. 

Ons het ook oor die afgelope twee dae die Mobiele Thusong by die sentrum bedryf.  Dit is deel van die Thusong program wat daarop gemik is om regeringsdienste, wat nie permanent by die sentrum geleë is nie, vir ’n paar dae direk na die gemeenskap te bring.

Dit is nog ’n manier waarop die Wes-Kaapse Regering geïntegreerde toegang tot regeringsinligting en dienste voorsien om ’n beter kwaliteit lewe vir gemeenskappe te voorsien. 

As we celebrate this opening, we realise the concept of bringing government to the people and providing basic essential services where it is needed most.  This milestone defines our ability as different spheres of government and community organisations to become “Better Together”.

While the planning of the Prince Albert Thusong Centre started as far back as 2008, the building process started in 2011 and was completed in March this year.  The Department of Local Government contributed towards the realisation of the centre with a financial contribution in 2010.

Ons het versigtig geluister na die versoek en behoeftes van die Prins Albert gemeenskap.  Die Prins Albert Thusong Sentrum is dus spesifiek ontwerp met die gemeenskap in die agterkop om nie net dienste na die area te bring nie, maar om ook aan die behoeftes van die gemeenskap soos deur die regering versoek, te voldoen.

In closing, I would like to thank the sector departments, the Municipality and community of Prince Albert for enabling us to gather here today to celebrate the opening of the Thusong Centre.  Without your commitment to this initiative, none of this would have been possible.

I would also like to extend a special vote of thanks to my team at the Department of Local Government for their absolute dedication to this programme. This Prince Albert Thusong Centre is truly a reminder to us all of what is possible when we focus on realising the strengths of partnerships.  

Media Enquiries: 

Peter Pullen
Cell: 082 574 3773
Email: Peter.Pullen@westerncape.gov.za