Call for collective approach to address social ills

THE Kouga Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM) closed the month of July with a summit geared towards introducing a ward-to -ward approach to make the work of the movement more effective.

More than 80 people from various community bodies across Kouga attended the gathering at the Kruisfontein Civic Centre on Tuesday.

Among attendees were members of clubs for the elderly and learners from the Humansdorp Secondary School.

July is known as Moral Regeneration Month in South Africa and forms part of the Nelson Mandela commemorative period which is aimed at encouraging people to set time aside to do good for others.

The late statesman initiated and spearheaded the formation of the MRM while he was President to mobilise societies towards collective healing after a violent past.

Kouga Speaker Hattingh Bornman, under whose office the movement resides locally, said the summit was a platform to make a call to everyone to get involved in dealing with social ills that confront society.

“Humansdorp was recently identified by the Department of Social Development as having the highest prevalence of drug use in the Eastern Cape.

“This situation, as with crime, cannot be left to the state institutions alone to deal with, as it is mainly social problems that are the root cause of these.

“One picks up a sense of hopelessness among the institutions due to the enormity of the task and because of internal pressures; therefore we cannot abdicate our own responsibilities and then look at government to solve our problems” he said.

His words were echoed by Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson, who said communities needed to return to the collective responsibility for public safety and speak out against crime.

We do not always need money to do good, but we can draw from our natural attributes.

“Let us use our eyes to be on the lookout and be each other’s guardians, use our ears to listen to the plight of others and use our mouths to report evil deeds and give words of encouragement,” said Benson.

Kouga MRM Chairperson Siyabonga Tambo said the movement would go from ward to ward to introduce the committee and to look for more social partners to take their work forward.