The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in partnership with Matatiele Local Municipality with the Department of Health, DEDEAT, Department of Social Development and other government departments joined hands as partners in taking government to the people through an Integrated Community Outreach Programme (ICROP).
The ICROP was held in Mangolong village (Ward 24) on the 09th of February 2017. The programme is geared at bringing various government services closer to rural communities as guided by government’s Batho Pele principles.
ICROP is the programme mandated by government to reach different wards in the remote areas of the Eastern Cape and embark on a number of service delivery innovations to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of its services.
The agency and the Department of Social Developments conducted household profiles in the ward, which revealed that many of them live below the poverty line. Some of the challenges identified prior to the programme include: Most children do not have birth certificates; children living with disabilities not accessing special schools; high rate of drug abuse; unemployment is rife; lack of knowledge about HIV/AIDS and crime related activities are witnessed.
As a short-term intervention, the agency coordinated all partners to take services to the people of Ward 23 and handed over out 200 food parcels to address the immediate needs of the identified households. SASSA, the Department of Home Affairs, DEDEAT and other government departments rendered services as well as provided information to local communities.
The Ward Councillor of Ward 23 Cllr. Sicelo Maphasa appreciated the opportunity offered to the rural communities. “Government should strengthen the communication with communities and in doing so they must work together to ensure that services are not duplicated and that is the real Intergovernmental Relations”, he said.