As the country celebrates the World Aids Day, Public Works eThekwini Regional Director, Ms Dudu Fihlela and her management team organised an awareness programme for officials on issues of HIV and AIDS; Disability in the workplace; and general abuse during the period of 16 Days of Activism on no Violence Against Women and Children (25 November – 10 December 2016).
Various speakers who addressed the gathering was Doctor Gugu Mkhulisi from Addington Hospital; Ms Bulelwa Mbolekwa – a visually impaired LLB Graduate and Deputy Manager at the Department of Health responsible for Youth and Gender issues; and Warrant Officer P.Z. Ngwane from Mayville SAPS.
Dr Gugu Mkhulisi
Dr. Mkhulisi alerted the gathering on the variety of issues pertaining to HIV and AIDS, stressing the importance of awareness, prevention and life style for those infected and affected by HIV and Aids. She further stressed the issue of living a balance life, that is healthy mind and healthy body being inseparable.
Ms Mbolekwa’s talk focussed on Disability Rights in the Working environment and that Disability is a Human Rights issue as outlined in the country’s constitution. She said employers have the responsibility to accommodate people with disabilities and ensure that people with disabilities have a right to fair labour treatment. She warned that the fact that many organisations are still failing to reach the 2% target in the employment of people with disabilities is due to attitude and ignorance in understanding issues of disabilities. Ms Mbolekwa said while there are volumes of books and information on the Internet about disability issues but ignorance is still prime and challenged government employees to educate themselves about disability issues.
Warrant Officer PZ Ngwane’s talk focused mainly of crime in relation to women and children – including human trafficking and provided the most valuable advice on a variety of crime related issues. The Officer told the gathering that SAPS has made Domestic Violence a priority crime and that victims of domestic violence are treated with care and dignity they deserve in the established Victims Empowerment Centre at Mayville SAPS.
During the proceedings, Public Works officials in the Region read the Pledge and committed their support to be part of the solution against violence. The function ended with the lighting of the candle and with officials testing for some various diseases.