The Buffalo Municipality in the Eastern Cape recently held an event at King Williams Town which was aimed at addressing the ills that are found in the society and experience by the youth. The event was attended by different government department and the community particularly the youth.

The purpose of the day was explained by the Ward 40 Cllr Kholiwe Thelma, “there are many issues that need to be addressed within the ward, but they will need all relevant stakeholders- multi sector approach”, said, ward 40 Cllr Kholiwe Thelma

What is the Social Lab?

The Social Labs are based on the Eastern Cape Operation Masinyange (OM) community based model for carefully planned and urgent interventions which are specific /targeted, and not generalised. Whilst initially conceived to address the vulnerability of persons infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, BCMM has expanded the concept to encourage the active participation and beneficiation of all vulnerable groups, especially in a youth friendly manner. The Social Lab structures are set up in each ward and allow for members of the community to engage each other from different perspectives such as religion, tradition, service delivery, health, moral regeneration, poverty and community issues and the platform allows for a better understanding to these issues and an opportunity to actively address problems.

The event was well attended by community and the youth. Departments and the Developmental partners were in attendance. South African Police Service Constable Mr Maxha from Zwelitsha police station emphasised the involvement of communities in the fight against crime, “SAPS cannot fight crime alone it needs the multisector approach. The community can assist by refusing to buy stolen goods and reporting crime, you don’t have to disclose your name but report the incidents”, said Maxha

SAPS’s Family Community Sexuality (FCS) unit. Surgeon Mpebe explained in point form what you need to do when you are raped:

  • report to the police station don’t wait- it is very important to tell someone as soon as possible -that someone will be the witness at court and will be the one that will explain more
  • Parents do listen to your children and don’t judge or blame them for what happen they need your love and support
  • Parents stop trying to solve rape cases among the family and not report it.

Mr Ntozini Bambanani  of the Department of Correctional Service said that we are the last door for someone who has broken the law, our main objective is to deal with behaviour change and bring the person back to the community after serving his/her years. People also need to understand that a person can be sentenced for life in prison, but that does not really mean he/she will die in prison depending on their behaviour in prison.

Testimonial from former inmate: Mr Ntozini Bambanani who was in prison from 2006/1/16 to 2017/6/7 now he is 29 years. “I encourage young people to stay away from substance abuse and wish that I can reverse the time to do good, now young people are given chance not to go to prison,” said Bambanani.

Bambani also explained that life in prison it’s not what people describe it. “When you are there chances of you coming out alive are so minimum – there are no guarantee due to the way it is”, said Bambanani. He further said it is not easy to get a job after imprisonment due to a criminal record.

Department of Health was also present at the event doing HCT- service on wheels (TB screening, HIV testing, giving worms medication to children and family planning) Bumbingomso gave sanitary towels to the girls that will cover four months. They were also given forms to fill in order to be part of girls club.


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