Public Works Officials listening to speakers during World AIDS Day
South Africa commemorates World AIDS Day every year on 1 December to show support for people affected and living with HIV/AIDS and mourn those who have passed on. The Department merged the 16 Days of Activism on No Violence Against Women and Children with the World Aids Day programme.
The event was held at the Head Office Auditorium where officials including regions and districts gathered to commemorate this day. Management and personnel looked to raise awareness of the negative impact that violence and abuse have on women and children. The event programme started with officials singing the National Anthem which binds the entire nation and bestows identity on its citizens.
The purpose of the day was done by HRM Director, Mr Glen Sithole who mentioned that: “While the main focus is on HIV/AIDS, we have decided to use this day to also sensitize our employees of the importance of the 16 days of activism on no violence against women and children”. He further extended his appreciation to the Acting Head of Department: “We are grateful and indebted to the Acting Head of Department for his decision to commemorate the World AIDS Day as the Department”, Mr Sithole said.
The Acting Head of Department, Mr Thulani Mdadane delivered a keynote address to officials who listened attentively. He began his speech by inviting officials to hold hands and sing along in support of all families who are affected and infected. This was a symbol of unity.
From left to right: Chief Financial Officer Mr Jeremy Redfearn, Corporate Services Chief Director
Mr Phiweyo Duma and Acting Head of Department Mr Thulani Mdadane
Mr Mdadane then stated that “The whole world is celebrating the lives of all those that have been infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. As South Africans, Public Works’ population and community - we cannot stand aside and watch helplessly without making our own contribution.” Mr Mdadane further encouraged employees to live a healthy lifestyle. He concluded by calling all officials to stand up and be counted for what is good for the nation.
The day’s programme was packed with valuable presentations from different speakers on HIV/AIDS Development, Support System, autism and domestic violence. Towards the end of the programme, Corporate Services Chief Director, Mr Phiweyo Duma, led a memorial candle lighting ceremony in remembrance of those who have died of the disease. He then conveyed a vote of thanks to the Acting Head of Department, organisers, speakers and all officials for making this day a success.
The Employee Health and Wellness Section in the Department assists in improving health outcomes and the general wellbeing of employees. Staff are encouraged to use their professional services.