SANCO in the Eastern Cape held a joint meeting with the leadership of CONTRALESA in the Eastern Cape Province which was co-chaired by SANCO EC Acting Provincial Chairperson Dr Mike Basopu, and the Chairperson of CONTRALESA EC Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana. The 3 hour long meeting took place virtually on Microsoft team’s platform on the 3rd November 2020, from 17H00 to 20H00 in the evening. The meeting came as a result of the continuing decaying socioeconomic status of the beneficiaries of the social grants and the covid-19 relief grants who utilise the facilities of SAPO in order to access their funds. The long, never-ending, meandering queues found at SAPO pay-points across the Province with no end in sight made us to dig a little deeper in the reasons why this was the case.
Upon further investigations which was undertaken by CONTRALESA and SANCO leadership structures in their constituencies across the length and breadth of the province, we found that this was a common occurrence. From the onset, the meeting agreed that we were not going to engage on a blame-game exercise. Ours was to highlight the challenges and bring them to the attention of the leadership of SAPO, and to jointly explore diverse avenues we could explore. The leadership of SAPO that attended the meeting assured us that, as the leadership of these two community based structures who lead a significant number of South Africans who form the bulk of the beneficiaries of SASSA and who use these products.
As the leadership of these two community-based structures, whose interest is the servant leadership to our constituencies and to be the voice of the voiceless, our main concern was the state of the people who approach these government institutions, after they had applied for these social security grants, with the sole intent of ensuring that they cushion themselves and their dependants from the devastating, and lasting effects of the pangs of hunger and the dejection that often accompanies the state of poverty.
RESOLUTIONS AND COMMITMENTS.
- SANCO and CONTRALESA to assist in the efforts to ease up the uncontrollable long queues at the SAPO pay-points and devise a system that will bring some semblance of normality in that queuing system; and hence we call upon our structures and volunteers to immediately go to their nearest post offices to assist in the long queues
- Public awareness programmes to be undertaken by SAPO, especially in the rural areas, with an intention to conscientise our people as to when can they go and collect their money, instead of standing in long queues .
- SAPO employees to be re-orientated on the Batho Pele principles, in order to give a humanistic posture in the manner in which government renders services to the communities they serve;
- Our assessment in this meeting was that systems of SAPO and SASSA were not interrelated, and a study has to be undertaken to ensure that in their plans of rendering a quality service to the South African citizens, they have to streamline their services, and that SAPO must do a systems overhaul so that we never hear that there is a breakdown of a system, which translates to the people having to be turned away from these pay-points to come back at a later date;
- The travelling to and from the pay-point, in most cases, the beneficiaries do not even receive their grants, must be urgently addressed as the beneficiaries utilise funds they do not have to go to these pay-points, only to find out that systems are down or the funds had been exhausted;
- We have further resolved to have a follow-up joint meeting between SANCO Eastern Cape leadership and the leadership of CONTRALESA in the Eastern Cape Province with the officials from SASSA and SAPO to have a common approach in responding to the challenges, with the intention of opening the now closed pay-points in the rural areas that are under traditional leadership.
CONTRALESA PRESENTATION ON THE OPENING OF THE SUMMER TRADITIONAL INITIATION RITE SEASON IN 2020.
CONTRALESA, through Nkosi Langa Mavuso, presented to the meeting the proposal they had submitted to the Premier and EXCO of the Eastern Cape on the proposal to open the summer season for traditional initiation rite. And we jointly expressed disappointment that the traditional leadership has not yet received response that will come through the regulations from the minister of COGTA. While we are treated with contemptuous attitude, there has been no supervision of the traditional initiation rite, there have been 10 initiates in the O.R Tambo District Municipality who met with the utmost misfortune, where there was one fatality and the rest of the initiates were hospitalised. In order to avert such a situation, we are making a call that the summer season must be opened and that the traditional leaders supported by SANCO leadership and other NGOs in the Health Sector will take responsibility, and that a programme that will see to it that a refresher course is undertaken by traditional surgeons in order to minimise blunders that may occur because of them being ring-rust as it were.
The meeting agreed that both structures would engage the Premier of the Eastern Cape Province and the MEC of COGTA to add their voices in the request that had been submitted by the leadership of CONTRALESA in the Eastern Cape.
The Eastern Cape practices the traditional initiation rite not as a recreational activity but as a tradition of passage from boyhood to manhood, and the symbolism that accompanies the traditional initiation rite, it is important that this institution which is protected in the main by the traditional leadership must be given the green light to continue.
When the opening of schools were touted, it was said that schools are a controlled environment. We advance the same arguments, because there are responsible adults who are involved in the administration of the traditional rite of initiation.
STATEMENT PREPARED AND ISSUED ON BEHALF OF SANCO EASTERN CAPE PEC AND CONTRALESA EASTERN CAPE PEC BY:
COMRADE TONY DUBA (SANCO EC PROVINCIAL SECRETARY)
CONTACT: 076 139 5486
NKOSI DALISIZWE ka DUDUMAYO (PROVINCIAL SECRETARY OF COTRALESA IN EASTERN CAPE)
CONTACT: 083 400 1558