By Mashamba Media

As part of the government’s continuous efforts to empower communities, the Gauteng Department of Social Development together with other government departments and stakeholders brought the service delivery blitz closer to the community of Boiketlong Informal settlement near Sebokeng, yesterday.

The aim of the blitz was to render service of government to the residents. The department was also seeking to accelerate service delivery in the province’s townships, hostels and informal settlements as introduced by Premier Panyaza Lesufi.

Various government Departments such as Department of Labour, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), and South African Police Service (SAPS), including Non-Profit Organisation such as Bokamoso Centre of Excellence and Reach Out Community Projects were also there to render their services.

According to the Community Development Supervisor Maditaba Sootho, this aimed is to address the challenge of lack of access to information, while ensuring that the vulnerable and neglected communities in the informal settlements receives the much-needed government services.

She said this is following the department’s previous community engagement followed by the door-to-door profiling that was conducted in the area which uncovered several challenges such as teenage pregnancy, substance abuse and unemployment.

“As Gauteng Social Development, after profiling this area, we have realized that this community need an integrated government services to address their challenges,” she said.

Maditaba added that the teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, youth unemployment and undocumented children are among the major problems that engulfed the area.

“We are pleased that SASSA is here and the Department of Labour including SAPS to render services to our people. We have partnered with various NPOs that are providing different skills training to encourage young people to utilize their services as they are free and fully funded by government,” added Sootho.

Hundreds of community members including young people came in their numbers to grab the opportunity to be registered on the Employment Service of South Africa Databases with Department of Labour.

SAPS brought their mobile office to assist community members with certification on site and attended some of their complaints.

Katleho Thebeko (23) residing at Boiketlong Informal Settlement said although life was a struggle in her area due to the lack of service delivery, she was grateful to departments that helped people with job applications and to address issues of HIV/AIDS that are very rife and further to tackle the scourge of substance abuse.

“We are hopeful when we see departments in their numbers including SAPS as crime is another challenge that is giving us sleepless nights in the area,” Thebeko said.

Another community member, Mmalehlohonolo Motsitsi (21) who managed to submit her curriculum vitae to the database, said maybe the opportunity would come this time since she has been applying for jobs without success.

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