To celebrate Mandela Month 2018, Africa Unite in partnership with University of Cape Town Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) , Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) South African Red Cross Society, Western Cape Community Safety and Bush Radio held a Mandela Day “All-In” celebration. The purpose of this event was to bring various stakeholders under the same roof to promote access to services as a gesture of celebrating 67 minutes of Mandela Day. This is to reflect the fact that all human beings should have access to basic services as mandated by the Constitution and in line with what Tata Nelson Mandela stood for. Twenty-four (24) years after the attainment of freedom, many townships are still experiencing service delivery challenges.
The event took place at the Gugulethu Sports Complex on the 28th of July 2018. The gathering attracted many people from Gugulethu and its surrounding townships. A live broadcast of the event was aired by Bush Radio which conducted interviews with the organisers and played music which attracted more people. During the day, community members had the opportunity to walk in and access different services provided by the above stakeholders.
SHAWCO provided free health check-ups (from blood pressure, TB, HIV & AIDS, STDs, sugar diabetes, general consultations and referral letters etc). More than 60 patients, women, men and children of all ages were examined, diagnosed and received free medication when needed. As the time went on, the news was spreading around the townships and more people started coming in. We were obliged to stop some of the people from coming in due to the time. One of the female patients mentioned that this is a great initiative for the communities because if they must go to the township clinic you need to leave home before 5am as often the clinics in the townships are always full. The patients must wake up before dawn and queue up all day long, only to get their services in the evening. In case you want to go to a private doctor, it is so expensive – you need to pay a consultation fee between R350 – R400. She concluded that she hopes that this can be an ongoing initiative.
The Red Cross stand attracted other community members who were informed about disaster management and prevention and Sexual Reproductive Health Education. The Department of Community Safety distributed over 250 first aid kits and their pamphlets about ongoing projects on how to improve safety in Cape Town. Furthermore, the IEC stand also attracted a great number of young people who had a chance to register as voters as the country is preparing for the 2019 general elections. .
Africa Unite would like to thank all its partner organisations, who made this day special for the community of Gugulethu and all surrounding under serviced communities. This event was also covered by City Vision a local newspaper.
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