13 March Human Rights Day to be held in BCMM March 13, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 In commemoration of the Human Rights Day, Buffalo City Metro born human rights activist Steve Bantu Biko will be remembered for his contribution in the struggle as 2017 marks 40 years since his passing. The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture together with the Department of Justice and Correctional Services as well as the Metro will host the 2017 Human Rights Day celebrations on Tuesday 21 March at the Victoria Grounds Stadium in King William’s Town. Celebrations will commence at 9am, the theme for this year’s commemoration is The year of OR Tambo: Unity in action in advancing Human Rights. Prior to the main event, a social dialogue will be held at the Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg on Monday 20 March. President Jacob Zuma is set to deliver the keynote speech at the main event on Tuesday. All members of the public are encouraged to attend the event where dignitaries including the country’s President, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, MECs and fellow government officials will be present. The Human Rights Month message is about nation building and social cohesion. Guided by the core message, human rights is about moving South Africa forward towards a nation united against social divides, non-racial, non-sexist, equal and cohesive nation. Related Human Rights Day commemorated The unveiling takes place during the Human Rights Month, as part of the commemorations of the day. The Human Rights Day is commemorated annual in the South African Calendar on 21 March. This day is a reminder of the tragic Sharpeville massacre and a celebration of South Africa’s uniqueness and equal rights for all. According to a press statement issued by the provincial department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture the activities held during this week are set to celebrate the month and commemorate significant events that shaped South Africa’s destiny and future. In 1960 the police opened fire without order on a crowd that had gathered at the Sharpeville station to protest pass laws. The pass laws stipulated that all Africans are to carry books and produce them for law enforcement officials on request. At least 69 people were killed and over 150 injured. Today the day is commemorated in various ways and acknowledging those who fought for human rights including Rubusana. Speaking at the event MEC for DSRAC Pemmy Majodina said, “Rubusana was a man of integrity who stood for equality and advocated for human rights.” She added that South Africa needs to honour such heroes, “We need to commit ourselves in honouring him like all the other leaders in the struggle of our freedom. The memorial will later have a statue on top of it and both Biko and Rubusana will be on both sides of the City Hall.” Giving a reply on the remarks, great gran son of Rubusana – Vusumzi Rubusana said, “As a family we are grateful for this honour. We now know our grandfather played a role in the history of this country.” A message by the Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi was also part of the speeches saying, “Our country has seen a lot of hereos being remembered and commemorated, today we include Rubusana to those who fought for our freedom and justice.” Also part of the Human Rights activities was the fifth two-day Career Expo held at Mdantsane NU14 Library. The two-day expo focuses mainly on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learners and was held on 11 and 12 of March, Speaking about the expo organiser of the event Ncedisa Ncapai said, “Our goal is to promote STEM subjects while encouraging learners to stay at school so that they can study further at tertiary level.” For the past four years the expo has been a collaboration between the provincial Department of Education, Buchule Technical High School, Siseko Group; Department of Science and Technology, MERSETA, CATHSSETA, East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ), South African Police Services – Forensic Science Division and the provincial Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture. “This expo is also set to encourage learners to stay at school so that they can study further at tertiary level and promote STEM scarce and critical skills including artisans, technicians or technologists, and professionals and introduce STEM careers that are generally not taken up by the poor communities.” Giving an overview of the expo Ncapai said, “The programme is generously supported by individuals, private, government, non-governmental organisations through various means such as sponsorship, donations and exhibitions.” Culminating the first day of the expo Sibongile Velaphi from Buchule Technical School said, “WE are grateful to have this opportunity, we will now have an idea of which path to take when we go to varsity.” Commemorating Human Rights Day The member of the Executive Council for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture(DSRAC), Pemmy Majodina outlined the purpose of the day “DSRAC called you today to celebrate this event with the family of the late Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge who were human rights lawyers and political activists during the struggle against apartheid regime,” said Majodina. The day kickstarted with the laying of wreaths at the Mxenge gravesite by the Executive Mayor Xola Pakati together with the Mxenge family and other senior officials in the provincial government. The procession went on to gather in the nearby church where the Mxenge Family worshiped the Lord in those days and proceeded to the nearby field where the main event would take place. Speaking at the event Pakati welcomed all who gathered at the event, and made the call to follow in the stalwart’s footsteps of deepening democracy, economic freedom and selfless service. “We have gathered here today in honor of freedom fighters Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge who selflessly sacrificed their lives for the fruits of freedom we are reaping today”, said Pakati. The fighting spirit of these activists is shown in the manner in which they were killed by the brutal apartheid regime of the time,” Pakati concluded. A family friend, Bulelani Ngcuka and human rights lawyer himself spoke of the Mxenge family. He was groomed and nurtured by the Mxenge family during those trying times where he became very close to the family, he also learned how to be humble, generous and to execute political work whilst under their wing. “Tata Mlungisi taught us to fight fire with fire, in those days the law was used to oppress people, and Tata used the law as well to oppose injustice against humanity in those trying and difficult times,” said Ngcuka. MEC for Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform Mlibo Qoboshiyane also addressed the gathering, “These activists were prepared to lay down their lives for the freedom of our time, their blood watered and nourished the liberation we enjoy today,” said Qoboshiyane. The day culminated with the address by the minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional affairs Dr Zweli Mkhize in honor of Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge who were assassinated in 1981 and 1985 respectively by the powers that be during those difficult dark periods in that era. “Constitution of the Republic of South Africa is their legacy, they were not there to write it, we wrote it on their behalf, it belongs to them,” said Mkhize. “We salute both Griffiths and his wife Victoria for dedicated, selfless and passionate service, in those days in Durban, we would go to their office to report about political activists that are in detention and they had no one to represent them in the court of law, the Mxenge family would warmly welcome us and fight for those in detention free of charge,” Mkhize remarked. Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge’s son Mbasa Mxenge thanked all government departments who made the event possible and expressed gratitude to the department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture for the job well done in making the event a success. “The family is humbled by this gesture and I’m pleased to tell you that we are healed now, and that we do know that you haven’t forgotten us as the family,” said Mxenge. The event was a success as more than 1000 people descended at kwa Rhayi Village to witness the celebrations. Human Rights Day Transport to pick up residents will be made available for the following wards: Town/area Pick –up point Ward- 25 Pakamisa – Hall Ndzondelelo - Higher Primary School @Zone 9 Ngqika Junior Primary school @ Zone 8 Ward - 34 Kwa Yellow Moses Twebe Hall Phola Park Hall Ward – 35 Zinyoka Hall Balasi Hall Quzini Hall Balasi Velley Circle Cwengcwe Rooster Ranyiba school Phondweni church Motel Park grounds Mzontsundu School Ward – 36 Mzintsana Hall Nakani Nkosiyane Madakeni Upper Mnqgesha Hoho school New rent Jikolo P.School Pierrie Mission Zabalaza Ward – 37 Tolofiyeni (Mthini) Masingatha (khoweni) Malingi Hall Mxaxo (school) KWT (Civic Centre) Wes Bank(Trirex) Wes Drive Ward -38 Tyhusha Barini Kwanonto Phesheya(Kwambulelo) Mxalanga(Clinic) Kwelerha (Clinic) Mngqesha (School) Mzantsi-shop (Grigamba) Mxaxo – Rank Liefeld –Rank Nonkcampa- Sheed Gwaba – Hall Zikhalini – Hall Lenge – Shop Handase – School Mantlane – School Mamata – Hall Bulembu -Hall Ginsberg Ward 39 Ginsberg - Taxi Rank Lipota - Mini Centre Schornville - Hall Bonke - shed Kwalini Primary - School Ngxwalane – Rhayi? Ward - 40 Ndileka Mount Coke Mimosa Tamara Jubisa Shushu A/B Tsolo Qongqotha Dubu Mlakalaka Ward – 41 Zwelitsha Hall Zone 1 Zone 4 Rank Rent Office Ward – 43 Bisho High Tyutyu Hall Ward – 44 Tshatshu – Pitsini Sweet-waters – Hall/Shop Qhalase -Rosey Siyathemba – ematantyini Breidbach – Plato/Sew Ward – 45 Ilitha Rent Office Berlin Hall Majarantiyeni Tshabo 1 Ngqongqweni/ntabezuko Skobeni Hall Hanover baptis Church Ward – 49 Ndevana taxi Rank Gavle and BCMM strengthen ties Executive Mayor Councillor Xola Pakati with the delegation will be at the East London ICC this morning to discuss various issuses including youth issues, gender equality issues and human rights roles. During the session, there will be presentation by BCMM (Youth engagement project); Commission for Gender equality (issues of discrimination); Human Rights Commission (Roles). After lunch there will be visits to the East London Harbour, Nahoon Point Boardwalk, East London Museum and the Masimanyane Women’s Centre. The twinning relations between the two Cities were initiated in 2002 with the aim to strengthen local democracy, expand knowledge and capacity development as well as to improve competence among the parties in their developmental roles as service providers. The sister Cities have cooperatively implemented projects with the fundamental objective to address underlining issues amongst others, that focus on; local democracy, governance and administration, technical municipal services (waste management, energy, water and sewerage), environmental/climatic issues, sustainable urban development, social welfare operations, education, youth projects and health and medical care operations. From June 2017 the City of Gavle and BCMM jointly implemented the following projects: · Steering Group Project which initiated in 2016 and programmed to carry over to 2018, focusing on matters of discrimination in both cities. · Youth Project also initiated in 2016 and planned to carry over 2018, aimed to enhance and create youth development opportunities for youth in both cities. The Metro in this regard has since piloted six Social Labs which are a ward based multi-stakeholder response for vulnerable groups to proactively engage in Integrated Development Planning Processes. BCMM youth taking charge of their health At least 200 young people from various areas of Buffalo City Metro were part of the Preventainment initiative which focuses on youth development and health consciousness looking at the scourge of HIV/Aids and teenage pregnancy. The event is an initiative held due to the high rate of teenage pregnancy and the HIV/Aids pandemic at some of the schools in the Buffalo City Metro and also to make awareness to the young people on new infections in young people between the ages of 16 and 25. Preventainment is a term coined by the organisors, linking the message of prevention with entertainment to appeal to youth. The event was intended to encourage youth to make use of available health facilities and engage in open dialogues to express the challenges they face as teenagers. “Our mission as the Metro and the Department of Health is to get the youngsters to engage with us making use of the suggestion boxes and complaint forms at various clinics, hence we came up with the word Preventainment so we understand your struggles as the youth,” said Portfolio Head Xolani Witbooi. During the programme various health issues were discussed including the importance of washing hands, the causes of HIV/Aids, prevention of STIs and it was followed by a demonstration of washing hands. “It is important to wash your hands everytime you need to, including after using the bathroom and before eating,” said Xolisa Melude Health Practitioner from the Community Leader Trust. The day culminated with the youngsters grouped into groups of 10 to discuss topics including the lack of confidentiality from nurses, no services on weekends, substance abuse, the separation of treatment collection points and poverty, peer pressure and lack of knowledge and transparency from parents. One of the youngsters at the event Sange Hibana from Inkwenkwezi High School said, “Events of this nature are important because they teach us about abstinence, the use of condoms and the significance of contraceptives.” BCMM Executive Mayor Xola Pakati in Duncan Village C-Section donating to a creche The Little Kids Centre is one of the 271 organizations that applied for the Buffalo City Metro Municipality Grants-In-Aid for assistance to enhance growth of community development. The fund is an initiative done by the Metro to provide grants to non-political and non- profit making organizations to help support and improve BCMM communities. A total of R1.4 million budget has been set aside for the selected organizations across the Metro that deal with child and youth centers, HIV/Aids centers, social and welfare organisations, home-based centers, early childhood development centers, arts and culture organizations, disabled and old age centers, support groups, alcohol and drug centers. Thereafter he joined and addressed the rest of the beneficiaries at the East London City Hall received their allocation which ranges between R10 000 and R30 000. After the event: The Executive Mayor together with the Speaker of Council, Councilor Alfred Mtsi, visited the Reeston area in Dice at 2 pm where people were killed last week and a Councillor was subsequently arrested. The Buffalo City Municipality leadership have come out strongly condemning the acts that have led to violence and loss of life. This was a courtesy visit to the families and local leadership of the area. Comments are closed.