Thokoza Community Framework Progress (Tiisetsong VD)

CFP seek to facilitate the flawless flow of communication between the community & reviving old structures of street committees that once had the profound information about the community. The CFP work with the police, CPF, the councillor & mayor of the ward. The smooth interaction between the street committee and community that we anticipate to achieve peace tranquillity and a better understanding. Therefore this will minimize queues in our policy stations, municipal offices and courts and most importantly, the mob psychology of people that organise protects or marches that later lead to properties being damaged.

What skills and resources were you able to draw from the community for this project?

The stakeholders have provided tools in empowering the workshops that are facilitated. Soon the newsletter will be educating the community about the role of each stakeholder and how they can get in touch with them to learn. Such as the Palmridge court outreach where the community will be taught about the importance of drafting a will for the estate of the deceased. Most houses in Thokoza are houses that were build by the municipality and when the owners who happen to be elderly citizens die, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren fight over the estate because the parents never learned how to distribute their estate properly. Therefore, the Palmridge Chief magistrate Ms De Klerk will work hand-in-hand with the housing sub-committee to organise and educate the community. This effort will educate the people about their rights and proper channels that they need to follow when they are faced with legal challenges. This will be in partnership hopefully with SERI so they can also educate the community about eviction and their rights.

The challenges

Societal problems were the key factors that encouraged the leaders of the community to come up with a programme that can work in remedying the community’s everyday challenges such as, domestic violence, electricity, water supply, drugs (Nyaupe) and alcohol abuse, housing as a ticking bomb as well a crime. The problem is that we are living in an environment where people are very angry, frustrated and confused (or we can say a sick society) as post-traumatic effects from 1990 war. The whole country is not safe, and we need remedies from our people in our communities and not from the government at all times. We need social interventions of good leadership with principles, morals and values. This is all about people centred and we are all implicated in solution space to bring order in our community. Educating people about self-disciples is not to dream about success but to work for it, if they don't their anger, frustration and uncontrolled emotions are going to be their own enemy e.g. if you want speed humps but you burn clinics and libraries, you want water and electricity, you block the roads, destroy robots and burn tyres in the middles of the road.

Addressing the challenges

1. The executive or leaders of the community have received different types of workshops from different stakeholder (SERI, SANCO and court) which has also equipped them to communicate the right message to the people. Some of the workshops they have received come from the Palmridge court Chief Magistrate who has also promised to organise an outreach programme where community members are taught about drafting wills so avoid families fighting over estates. 2. The team has also improved in their communication skills, drafting of minutes, conducting meetings and more importantly how leaders conduct themselves in the community, and that is evident in the community newsletter that has started circulating to the houses within the VD. 3. The community's communication has improved, matters are discussed with the relevant sub-committees as protocol. 4. The local foreign shops are protected and looting has decreased. Every new foreign national who wants to start a business in the community must first present it at the VD meetings and get approval from the community and also know how the community operate when there are problems or opportunities. The Community Framework Progress (CFP) wishes to achieve the following; 1. Grow the newsletter, ensure educational content is covered so as to educate the community. Ensure local content and businesses are promoted in the newsletter to ensure local economic growth. 2. The CFP wishes to start a burial society that can be able to assist families that cannot afford to bury their loved ones. This Scheme will only assist and not cover all cost, its aim is to just to be a helping hand to all and relieve the burden. 3. The CFP wishes to also start a feeding scheme for the underprivileged children. A hungry child can be lost to crime and substance abuse. So if the community can work together to ensure all children's needs are nurtured then the community will raise better future leaders who will be able to continue growing their communities. 4. CPF also wishes to revamp the Thokoza monument to ensure that the community's history is never erased or forgotten. The monument needs. The monument needs to also attract tourist which will empower the community and bring better opportunities to the community for the community.

The achievements

The Community Framework Progress (CFP) started as a social intervention that will educate the community and improve lines of communication within the community. However, as the CFP members started engaging and being hands on in the community, they then learned other problems that the community members face on a daily basis and realised that they cannot only educate the community without assisting them with their everyday challenges. That's how the CFP started assisting with being a helping hand to the underprivileged and those who fail to bury their loved ones. Their first challenge was in 2017 when a young man got burned in his shack sleeping, he was hospitalised for two weeks and later died. The family failed to raise funds to bury him and requested assistance from the CFP. The CFP went all out to the houses in the VD and local businesses to donate money so that the young man can be laid to rest. The community worked well in raising funds and the young man got a dignified funeral. The community was impressed and the CFP then realised that because they did this for one family the community will expect the same should it happen to them. Furthermore in 2018, there were two disasters that involved two different elderly women. 1. An elderly woman's house got burned, the kids were able to survive but the elderly woman died of suffocation. The VD contributed funds from household donations and donations from local businesses to renovate the burned rooms. The house was renovated, painted and all burned structures replaced. 2. The roof of the house of an elderly woman was blown away by the storm. Again the VD community contributed and collected donations from the VD houses and a month later the roof of that house was replaced with a better roofing structure and it was also painted. Recently in 2019, a family lost their 1 year old toddler and the baby was kept in the morgue for a month, when this issue was raided in the VD meetings, the community did what they have learned to do best, hold hands and assist one of their own. That is how the CFP works by planting a seed of human dignity!