As part of the 67 Minutes for Mandela Day commemoration the MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr. Themba Mthembu, shared this day planting vegetables, preparing gardens and donating a mushroom base with the children of the Umvoti Aids centre in Greytown, Umvoti.
Here the MEC also donated 67 food vouchers to 67 families around Greytown, also a 100 blankets to the kids in the centre and 100 food parcels to families in the area.
Also attached herein is the MEC's speech in both isiZulu and English with photos and captions.
For more information please contact Khaye Nkwanyana on 083 952 9723.
Pictures and Captions:
Pic 1: Umvoti Municipality Mayor Cllr Thami Ngubane with MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr. Themba Mthembu,, handing over a blanket to one 100 blankets to one of the kids at the Umvoti Aids Centre.
Pic 2: MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr. Themba Mthembu, handing over one of the 67 food vouchers to one of the 67 families in Greytown.
Pic 3: World Aids day flag.
Pic 4&5: MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr. Themba Mthembu addressing the children and families attending the Mandela Day commemoration in Greytown.
Pic 6: Some of the members of the community in attendance during the Mandela Day commemorations in Greytown.
Pic 7: Umvoti Municipality Mayor Cllr Thami Ngubane with Cllr Vukani Sibisi planting vegetables at the centre.
Pic 8,9&10: MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr. Themba Mthembu planting vegetables and preparing the land at the centre.
Pic 11: MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr. Themba Mthembu with Umvoti Municipality Mayor Cllr Thami Ngubane and KZNDARD Acting HOD Mr. Jerry Mfusi planting mushroom seeds at the mushroom base donated by the Department to the Umvoti Aids Centre.
SPEAKING NOTES FOR THE KZN MEC FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
THE HONOURABLE MR THEMBA MTHEMBU
DURING THE NELSON MANDELA 67 MINUTES
VENUE: uMvoti Aids Centre, Umvoti
DATE: 18 July 2017
Umvoti Municipality Mayor Cllr TC Ngubane
Msinga Municipality Mayor Cllr BP Ngcobo
Ladies and gentlemen
And our special guests today, the children,
I think that Utata uNelson Rolihlahla Mandela would have been proud and elated at how we have spent this day to commemorate in his name. As we are aware Tata had a deep-seated passion for children of which he dedicated a great deal of his time and life to.
In December 1993 during the acceptance of his Nobel Peace Prize Award, Tatu Mandela said the following, and I quote.
“At the southern tip of the continent of Africa, a rich reward is in the making, an invaluable gift is in the preparation, for those who suffered in the name of all humanity when they sacrificed everything - for liberty, peace, human dignity and human fulfilment. This reward will not be measured in money. Nor can it be reckoned in the collective price of the rare metals and precious stones that rest in the bowels of the African soil we tread in the footsteps of our ancestors. It will and must be measured by the happiness and welfare of the children, at once the most vulnerable citizens in any society and the greatest of our treasures. The children must, at last, play in the open veld, no longer tortured by the pangs of hunger or ravaged by disease or threatened with the scourge of ignorance, molestation and abuse, and no longer required to engage in deeds whose gravity exceeds the demands of their tender years.”
These words speak a great deal to us as a people, they are a call to action to work tirelessly to ensure we better the lives of people especially those of young people, and eradicate the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment so that our greatest treasure, the children, can enjoy a childhood filled with laughter, play and education.
It is alarming that in South Africa we have an estimated 3.7 million orphaned children and almost half of those have lost their parents to AIDS-related diseases. Furthermore an estimated 150,000 children are living in child-headed households while others are living with sick and bed-ridden caregivers.
I must therefore compliment the work that is done by uMvoti Aids Centre for the communities of Umzinyathi and Umshwathi. You create a home and give much needed hope to children whom without you would be destitute and loitering the streets in despair.
The services offered speak to the vision of uTatu Nelson Mandela who was passionate about HIV/Aids. Mandela’s prison number 46664 was given new meaning when it became a campaign to raise awareness and funds for HIV/Aids across the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I always find it strange that we refer to children in such centres as orphans, because in our African communities no child is an orphan. The African spirit of Ubuntu dictates that, your child is my child, and my child is your child.
We are all responsible for and to these children, and while today is in the spirit of Tatu Mandela’s 67 minutes, the work we have started must continue every day to ensure sustainable livelihoods for the children of our nation.
As the Department of Agriculture and rural development, our decision to spend this day at an Aids centre was by no mistake. It is because we are aware that agriculture, nutrition, health and food security go hand in hand and cannot function in silos.
Food insecurity is often linked to detrimental health outcomes such as obesity, chronic diseases and mental health disorders. Even more disturbing is that in children, there is a link between food insecurity, stunting, poor development and decreased academic ability. Therefore as a Department that is responsible for food security we have a responsibility to ensure our children never go hungry, and more importantly they have nutritious meals such as the soup we enjoyed this morning.
As appropriately acknowledged by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) that, economic growth is only sustainable if all countries have food security. Without country-owned and country-driven food security strategies, there will be obstacles and additional costs to global, regional, and country-level economic growth.
Agricultural interventions such as household gardens, institutional gardens and community gardens the ability to ensure sustainable food accumulation for generations to come.
The Community garden project we have ploughed today as well as the uMvoti Aids Centre Mushroom Project are both food and nutrition security initiatives that will ensure a better life for all those in this centre and surrounding communities. In the Department we will continue under the banner of operation XoshiNdlala, to offer support and provide farming implements such as seeds, tractors, livestock, chickens and various others which will enable all our people to put nutritious food on the table.
In the words of our beloved Tata, “Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth who care for and protect our people.”
I thank you