Youngsters from Heidedal Aftercare Centre, in Mangaung, Free State, had a special early morning, on 30 July 2019, when Deputy Minister, Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa visited them to help with a bit of gardening and wall décor to brighten up their day. This gesture was part of the Mandela month commemorations to show goodwill, and was made possible with the joint efforts of DCS, Nedbank, G4S and Bloemfontein Child Welfare.
“We are closing Mandela month and as the department we are participating in activities aimed at promoting the ideals that Madiba left with us as his legacy, to care for our fellow human beings,” said Nkosi Holomisa during his CUT FM radio station interview in Grootvlei.
Heidedal AfterCare Centre is an after care school programme managed by the Bloemfontein Child Welfare that looks after approximately 60 children. The centre caters for a community with high levels of unemployment, drug abuse and gangsterism. Amongst other services, the centre offers meals, a safe space for children to do their homework, recreational activities, computer skills and essential life skills.
Free State and Northern Cape Regional Commissioner Subashini Moodley said the department will use parolees and probationers to transfer skills to empower youth in the centre. The department partnered with the Child Welfare, G4S and Nedbank to start three projects which are computer classes, a garden to grow vegetables for their daily meals and skills in leather works offered by G4S. Nedbank also donated R20 000 towards the further development of the centre. Ms Moodley urged the community, government departments and the business sector to join hands, get involved and work together with the department towards effective correction of offenders.
The day was filled with numerous activities. The Deputy Minister started in Heidedal and moved to Grootvlei Management Area for a walk-about at the Medium Centre. Area Commissioner of Grootvlei Errol Korabie presented an overview of the management area which consists of 8 centres including the Mangaung Public Private Partnership (PPP) centre. This was a continuation of the Deputy Minister’s induction tours to familiarize himself with DCS facilities since his appointment in May 2019.
The day ended with an Imbizo where community members were afforded the opportunity to voice out their views and concerns. In his address, the Deputy Minister encouraged partnerships with the private sector, NGOs, community leadership and faith-based organisations in order to combine energies and resources into making offenders better people. He also mentioned Goodwood blanket project for the elderly and donations of school shoes and socks at Mfuleni High School in the Western Cape, which were part of the DCS Mandela Month campaign. He applauded officials for going beyond the call of duty, and who out of their good hearts helped the needy.
Deputy Minister Holomisa was accompanied by Regional Commissioner Subashini Moodley, Acting CDC Comcor Veliswa Mvandaba and senior managers from the Free State and Northern Cape region.