Feb 21

Overcoming Service Delivery Strikes and Transforming Communities Through SHGs

So much of what we do, we do out of passion, dedication and commitment to the children and now the parents of the children!

We all need to be encouraged, when you are passion driven, some times that passion level wains when confronted with issues that are overwhelming and challenging. We stir ourselves up, because the work we do is important, however sometimes, I have to admit, our battery levels can dive.

Why am I sharing this, because it’s the reality in which we exist! We all feel this way occasionally, the trick, if there is one, is to not stay there! That is why I repeatedly say, you, YOU bring me hope because you enable us to make significant change in despite the huge opposition we face. Let me explain!

This last week has seen a number of service delivery strikes by the village areas in which we operate.

Let me explain what I mean. A service delivery strike is not an orderly march on to parliament house with placards, shouting slogans with a police presence.

A service delivery strike is the shutting down of roads (particularly arterial roads), burning tires, with people pelting vehicles with stones, setting fire to vehicles, shooting at vehicles, beating innocent people up, all whilst demanding services. (The services in this case is the provision of water to villages around Khujwana, Lepephane and surrounding areas.)

This arterial road prevents us from accessing our SHG parents and a majority of our kids. It is so frustrating. Rather than take the complaint to the people that can change the situation, the village mind set is to stop others from doing their work, disrupt schooling for the learners and general increase the level chaos experienced. This sort of disruption will continue until the general election.

Don’t get me wrong, the provision of water is a right! However, the mind set and the chaos created does not affect those to whom it is aimed at ie the local municipality. That is why the SHG project is so powerful, by working with people and showing them how to approach the municipality with their demands, working with the municipality to provide correct information on what is required to alleviate the issues identified.

Currently, the Cluster Level Association (CLA) the executive arm of the SHG’s has resolved a 20yr outstanding water provision issue in Burgersdorp using this new approach. Five of the Six boreholes have been repaired through this approach, and Nsolane’s borehole has also been repaired and that village now has water, and No chaos! No disruption! The community working with the municipality to reach their goals.

As KTD196, our target this year is another 25new SHG’s and although geographically the area under the violence of the strike looks very close it actually is not that close. (I have highlighted it on the map below). Hopefully, a place where I try and dwell, we will continue with the SHG program and work towards invading the other villages with a new model of engagement with government, this will reduce the thuggishness that currently exists and create much more co-operation.

Just to build on that, we are in the process of opening more groups with the SHG’s, just yesterday a new group opened with Cubs and Scouts in Mankweng with over 60children. It is just awesome. That is what you are supporting through your donations. Transformation at grassroots level.

Thank you for being a part of our solution. Nkomo sweneni ngopfu! (Thank you so much!)