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Signing of the MOU between Oudtshoorn Municipality and Western Cape Department of Social Development

Oudtshoorn, 17 March 2017 – “It is an historic moment whereby Oudtshoorn Municipality signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Province.” said the Executive Mayor. Colan Sylvester, at the ceremony held this morning in the council chambers.

The MOU would be addressing the systematic problems faced by the Greater Oudtshoorn Community, such as:

  • Street children
  • Shelter for kids who are exposed to violence
  • Shelters for battered woman
  • Homeless shelters and
  • Shelter for old age people

Mayor Sylvester said: “The MOU is the brainchild of Oudtshoorn Municipality and the Department of Social Development.  This agreement it will enable the Department of Social Development to work together with the municipality to implement key programmes, such as plight of children living in the street and abused woman.  It will enable them to start addressing the social problems within the Greater Oudtshoorn through partnership with businesses, DSD, NGO’s and the municipality”.

Minister Alfred Fritz said “We must start thinking differently.  We must start telling the youth that they are great.  We must bring the factory of hope to our communities again.”.  Minister Fritz also congratulated the municipality for becoming the second municipality in the province to sign a MOU with the department.  “The first one of course being City of Cape Town” added Fritz.  He also mentioned that the MOU will also in future impact the IDP of the municipality.

Mr Dennis Ngonyama, local manager of DSD, thanked Oudtshoorn Municipality for the role played thus far and in the nine years that he has been in Oudtshoorn it is the first time that something like this is happening.  He is grateful to see how serious everyone is embracing this initiative. He stated that the plan of the MOU is to make the infrastructure child friendly and safe and to not make it easy for children to abscond from shelters.  Mr. Ngonyama added that this is the correct path in addressing some of the social ills facing the community.

One of the champions of the MOU, Dept Mayor Noluthando Mwati, thanked everyone present for accepting a calling.  A calling, she mentioned, for people who do not have a voice.  She also said that we should all learn to take criticism and convert into something constructive.  “This is a stepping stone for us to better the lives of people in the Greater Oudtshoorn” Mwati said.

Minister Alfred Fritz was thanked for making time in coming to Oudtshoorn and also for availability and accessibility.  Councillor Wildschut who was the MC coordinated the whole programme and reiterated the importance of this historical event.