Service delivery assessment in De Doorns
Pretoria – Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini will on Sunday conduct a follow-up visit to the community of De Doorns, in the Western Cape, to assess progress made on service delivery commitments.
The visit follows the Minister’s visit to De Doorns in October 2013, where she uncovered a number of service delivery shortcomings and social challenges in the community.
Among the challenges included lack of Early Childhood Development (ECD) services, limited access to social security services, alcohol and substance abuse, including a prevalence of foetal alcohol syndrome, teenage pregnancy and malnutrition.
Amongst the interventions committed to by Minister Dlamini at the time was the extension of ECD services, through the government ECD subsidy, to all children in the town who previously had no access to it.
Minister Dlamini had also made an undertaking that the department would support the many seasonal workers who work in farms around the area.
This follow-up visit is part of Project Mikondzo, a Social Development service delivery initiative aimed at expanding the reach of social services in the poorest communities of the country as identified by Cabinet.
The Minister will revisit the area to assess and report back on the progress the department has made in expanding ECD services, extending the reach of social security services, especially during unemployment season, putting in place programmes to reduce alcohol and substance abuse as well as reverse the trend of malnutrition.
De Doorns is part of the Breede Valley Local Municipality which has a population of 166 825.
The farming sector in the municipality, which accounts for about 30% of economic activity, reportedly employs only about 30 000 people on a permanent basis. Employment increases to about 70 000 during September - April.
Due to this seasonal employment some children in De Doorns attend ECD centres only during the part of the year when their parents are employed and thereafter pulled out because of their parents’ inability to pay for the service.
It is also during the low season that other social challenges such as malnutrition and alcohol and substance abuse emerge.