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Tue, 19 Sep 2017
Deputy President opens Eastern Cape HIV/AIDS Centre

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to those men and women who do all they can to look after children with HIV.

“These are the good women and men of this community who make sure that children with HIV feel they belong and have a place under the warm African sun,” the Deputy President said on Sunday.

He was speaking at the official opening of the Vuyo Mbuli Empilisweni HIV/AIDS and Orphans Centre in Ndevana in the Eastern Cape.

The centre is a community initiative which started operations in 1999 with the help of the late SABC TV presenter Vuyo Mbuli and was officially registered as a non-profit organisation in 2002.

The centre – whose main focus is on HIV and Aids orphans – also works with caregivers of people who are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and Tuberculosis (TB) treatment. The facility has been commissioned by the Department of Health to trace treatment defaulters in the area.

The Deputy President paid tribute to the caregivers who visit children in homes where there are no mothers and fathers.

“They are there to close the eyes of the deceased and comfort the living. They refuse to let the soul of our nation to be corrupted by the cardinal sin of neglecting hungry and homeless children.

“They feed, bathe, and clothe the sick and the weak. It is them who show our vulnerable children the door of the classroom,” he said.

Deputy President Ramaphosa said the leadership of the centre had crafted grand plans to stimulate economic activity and create jobs.

“They have internalised our National Development Plan and they have identified the areas that can yield positive results. We have been touched and moved by the vision you have crafted of achieving a community that is not haunted by poverty and shackled by injustice.”

Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said the care centre will be supported with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services.

This, said the Deputy President, is a significant step in bringing this much needed service to the community.

He added that the computer centre at the clinic will be developed in partnership with the State Information Technology Agency (SITA), MTN and the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA).

He called for the initiative to be replicated in other areas to close the information technology gap and to prepare children for the knowledge economy and the fourth industrial revolution.

“We also want to acknowledge and call upon past, present and future potential partners to continue strengthening the work of this remarkable care centre.”

The Deputy President said it was pleasing for government to see companies stepping up to help the centre. This as Aspen Pharmacare has committed to provide the centre with solar water heaters.

In addition, government also applauded the National Lotteries Commission for being an excellent corporate citizen.

“Through their generous contribution, today we have the awe-inspiring Empilisweni building. This is the type of tangible outcomes that will assist the Empilisweni Centre and community to be better equipped to manage its operations,” he said.

“The National Health Insurance [...]

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Tue, 19 Sep 2017
Durban launches CBD clean-up programme

A robust plan to rejuvenate the Durban Central Business District (CBD) was tabled last week by eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede during the official launch of the radical CBD clean-up and safety programme.

The programme, which Mayor Gumede said will attract investment and create more employment, aims to address cleanliness and safety related issues which includes crime, grime, illegal trading and derelict buildings.

The mayor applauded city officials for the great work undertaken in the past three weeks as part of the first phase of the programme that ensured cleanliness, compliance and safety.

“To sustain the great strides achieved, the Supply Chain Management process is underway to appoint a dedicated team to take full responsibility of CBD urban management,” she said.

Mayor Gumede outlined the key elements of the programme which are; safety and security, saying that an outcome-based visible security team is to carry out key protection mandates with clear indicators for each precinct.

Informal traders and waste management

Another key element of the CBD clean-up programme according to the Municipality is to promote informal trading by streamlining trading areas, providing associated facilities and having a progression plan for street traders as they are positive contributors to the local Gross Domestic Product. The third element of the programme is ensuring a revived waste management plan, which will talk to business needs as well as residents. The city said it will also continue to implement its by-law enforcement strategy.

“Furthermore, the city will continue carrying out its environmental awareness campaigns and stimulate interest and active participation from communities to promote, enhance and protect the green areas in the city,” the city said.

Mayor Gumede added that the CBD clean-up is one of the Municipality’s signature programmes expected to fulfil its 2030 vision of being Africa’s most caring and liveable City.

“What I just presented are clear and achievable goals which will result in us attracting more investors, creating 250 000 jobs and accommodating 450 000 people when the plan is fully developed.”


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Tue, 19 Sep 2017
Major upgrade for Cecilia Makiwane Hospital

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says investing in infrastructure such as the new wing of Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in the Eastern Cape will contribute significantly to improving the health of the people of Mdantsane.

“It is a facility that will allow us to expand government’s e-health strategy by providing advanced clinical support to rural areas. These investments in infrastructure, technology and innovation will contribute significantly to improve the health outcomes for the people of Mdantsane and the region,” said the Deputy President on Sunday.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new wing of the hospital in Mdantsane, East London, Deputy President Ramaphosa said investments in infrastructure to the tune of R1 billion will support local economic development in the townships.

“They will also support local government efforts to improve community infrastructure. As we revitalise public health infrastructure, we are also expanding opportunities for local communities to improve their lives through job creation and local enterprise development.”

Deputy President Ramaphosa said the 526-bed hospital is a national asset that must be treasured and celebrated. The hospital is supported by an integrated system that will optimise efficiencies in the delivery of quality healthcare. The integrated system, which uses technological innovation, will cut down patient waiting times, improve diagnosis and improve health outcomes.

The hospital will provide support to districts and maternity units through telemedicine and outreach programmes by specialist teams.

“This state-of-the-art health facility is a victory in our people’s cause to build a united, equal, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society. The unveiling of the new wing of Cecilia Makiwane Hospital takes place during Heritage Month.”

He paid tribute to nursing pioneer Cecilia Makiwane, after whom the hospital is named. Makiwane was South Africa’s first professional black nurse.

Government 15 years ago introduced the Cecilia Makiwane Nurse’s Recognition Award for distinguished health care professionals in her honour. As both teacher and nurse, Makiwane chose vocations where she would make her greatest contributions to the betterment of her people’s lives.

Deputy President Ramaphosa said struggle stalwart Steve Biko, who built the Zanempilo Community Health Centre for the rural community of Zinyoka outside King William’s Town, would be pleased that all is being done to ensure health care for everyone.

Implementation of the NHI

“Come rain or shine, South Africa will have the inclusive National Health Insurance to ensure quality, safety, and efficient health provision for all our citizens,” said the Deputy President.

Government is implementing the NHI to ensure health equity by reorganising the public and private health system. Through the NHI, funds will be pooled to provide access to quality health services for all South Africans based on their health needs, irrespective of their socio-economic status.

Already, South Africa spends far above the recommended 5% by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on health, while the public health system also caters for more than 80% of the population.

The country’s private sector spends around 4.4% of GDP on health but only caters for a small population around 16% of the entire population.

“These inequities are not only unjust but are unsustainable. They reflect [...]

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