KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza has made an impassioned plea to provincial citizens to play their part and protect government employees from falling victim to a spate of hijacking of state vehicles.
Khoza said she was very concerned about the high incidents of hijacking of state vehicles which cripple service delivery.
This follows hijacking of two department’s vehicles within two successive days, last Thursday and Friday.
The incidents include a social worker who was assigned to Inanda, who was hijacked at gun point on his arrival on local service office premises on Thursday.
In another incident, two social workers from Harry Gwala District Office were hijacked on the R56 near Richmond in the Midlands, while en route to Pietermaritzburg on Friday.
Addressing the community of Ward 07 and 08 of Ubuhlebezwe Local Municipality, Khoza said it is very disturbing that government employees who were providing such a much-needed service to communities had to keep on looking over their shoulders.
“Our communities should play their part in saving the lives of government employees whose responsibilities are to ensure service delivery to the needy. These people put their lives at risk to ensure that our communities get service as per the directive of government,” Khoza said.
She noted that the hijacking of state vehicles has a negative impact on all government campaigns to change the lives of the people for the better.
High incidents of GBVF
The MEC also warned communities about the high incidents of gender-based violence (GBV) that also affect the well-being of people.
“We want to see community members in KwaZulu-Natal being the one leading campaigns to end GBV. Importantly, we urgent men to be the ones who stop violating the rights of women and children. No one deserves to be called a man when they violate the rights of women and children,” Khoza said.
The MEC further urged communities to protect themselves from COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the department is going to all different municipalities across the province to ensure that the communities understand the danger of COVID-19 currently facing the country.
“We also want to ensure that our social workers are able to help needy communities. The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in a number of people losing their jobs. As the department, we have been mandated by our President Cyril Ramaphosa and Premier Sihle Zikalala to conduct an oversight on the provision of Social Relief of Distress (SRD) vouchers to our communities.
“Our government committed itself to ensuring that no one sleeps on an empty stomach. We have to monitor the assessment or profiling of beneficiaries that it is done within the ambit of the law. The department conducts oversight on the provision of SRD to ensure that each and every cent spent on the programme derives value for money and properly accounted for,” Khoza said.
She said government also wanted to encourage people to stand on their own, and start projects that will change their lives for the better.
“We want to end dependency in our communities. Therefore, as the department we want to encourage communities to decide what government can help them with to lift them out of poverty,” she said.
Induna [headman] Sipho Mkhize from Empunga clan, acknowledged government for continuously protecting the people and providing for them.
Mkhize called committed the communities to the protection of government employees, as per Khoza’s appeal.
“We want to see communities in our clan being developed and we should not hide criminals that hijack state vehicles. These vehicles are tools to ensure service delivery reaches our communities.”