Posts Tagged ‘service delivery’

Hillside Digital Trust’s mantra is “We are one people, we have one destiny, we can make the world the way we’d like it to be.”

Our task is simple, to bring about real change and make a real difference. Our Siyakhona (We can do it) Video Journalists use their skills in film, new and social media as community organizers, they are empowered to engage with their community, identify the root causes of their social ills, organize the community to find the answers and implement action plans to solve the issue together with all role players, stakeholders and partners.

We started in October 2009 and our concept is proving itself as a game changer in community development. There’s been a paradigm shift at the offices of Region E since we presented our call to action video on the rats crisis in Alexandra Township.

To remind you Siyakhona’s advocacy call to action film on the rats crisis so impressed all the regional directors of Gauteng, that they pooled all their resources together, from as far as Orange farm and Soweto. Our film inspired the departments of health, environmental affairs, service delivery, roads, water, the Police, emergency services and others to join our campaign. Over three days they joined us and nine hundred local volunteers in a major clean up and education campaign. The Regional director has since overhauled their entire approach on service delivery. Before the campaign their departments worked in silos, each not knowing what the other was working on. Siyakhona has inspired the city to bring all departments together in an integrated service delivery plan for Alexandra and surrounding areas to combat service delivery issues in a manner that is sustainable and visible to the community.

Herbert and Lucky joined me at the Region E offices to identify the hotspots Siyakhona will focus on for the clean up campaign and rodent crisis; Pan Africa precinct, River Park Precinct, Madala Hostel, Nobuhle Hostel and Helen Joseph Women’s Hostel, how to monitor the project’s impact and get the support of specifically the hostel dwellers as well as the rest of the community. The regional director established monthly Siyakhona task group meetings at her offices. The task group involves representatives from departments of environmental health, housing, PickitUP, Stakeholder management, Service delivery, urban management and ourselves in which we will work together on this and other service delivery issues and implement innovative solutions.

All departments have been briefed on the Siyakhona Initiative and have been directed to submit plans on how they can best add to the project and its impact on the community. Further to the clean up campaign we are also discussing other projects such as recycling, developing green based cooperatives, rehabilitating the Jukskei river, ending tribalism as well as delving into the problem of housing delivery.

Region E will pay the costs of our public screenings, literature and marketing materials and participate in conversations with the community at our screenings. I met with Ephraim; marketing specialist for Region E, he relayed how excited they all are to join the Siyakhona Initiative and add to our work. He believes that joining our grass root initiatives will be far more effective than trying to implement projects developed at management level.

We’ve also been given the go ahead to produce and distribute a Siyakhona Environmental Health DVD on rodent control.

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Hillside Digital citizen journalists (CJs) collect a minimum of 100 votes from their community on a particular issue before producing an advocacy based video on a call to action: Sony Fevacastors made a great video explaining what we’re about.

HD CJs research and interview all concerned before formulating and producing a film that calls for a ‘plan of action’.

Platform

The screenings provide a platform for information sharing, debate and (a specialist on HIV/AIDS, employment, housing, government policy etc) dialogue empowering the community and leadership to unite to find solutions to their most pressing issues- speeding up social change.

HD videos are screened to all parts of the community on portable projectors; covering a number of issues notably, service delivery, human rights, health, education and employment, local news as well as positive stories on local arts and entertainment, success and impact.

A post viewing dialogue will give the audience a chance to have their voice heard.

The videos empower the community to unite and find solutions to their most pressing issues; i.e. speeding up social change.

HD CJs are responsible for implementing an agreed upon action by the community and reporting back to their community.

Action

In each area where Hillside Digital operates, it coordinates with the area’s key role players; community leaders, NGOs, development forums and local authorities (when ethical) inspired by the community to ‘do it for themselves’ through the video advocacy screenings. Siyakhona inspires city to put rats in its crosshairs [tweetmeme source=”hillsidedigital” only_single=false]

Rats are in City’s cross hairs Print E-mail a friend
Written by Rudo Mungoshi
Thursday, 02 September 2010
Catching rats: an Alex resident uses special equipment to kill rodents

There is a rodent infestation in Alexandra, but the City and its partners are spearheading a cleanup and education campaign.

DAVID Maphangwa doesn’t remember when the giant rats first appeared. Like many another Alexandra resident, he has learned to turn a blind eye to the creatures and, surprisingly, he is adjusting to their growing presence.

All Alex residents should come together to clean up their area, says Region E director Liziwe Ntshinga-Makoro

All Alex residents should come together to clean up their area, says Region E director Liziwe Ntshinga-Makoro

“I have been here for three years and it has been an ongoing problem,” Maphangwa says. “They have cost me a lot of money and a lot of inconvenience.”

Maphangwa, an informal trader who sells meat for a living, tries his best to clean up his work place in the hope of not attracting the rats. He used to put down poison for the rodents, but eventually gave up when he realised that it was having no effect.

Norman Mashaba, another Alex meat seller, adds: “They are massive creatures. If people didn’t throw food on the ground, I don’t think it would happen.”

He “always” sees the rats running around, especially in the afternoon. They are causing hell for residents; they chew through doors and get into houses in their endless search for food. It’s common to hear stories of rats eating clothes or opening pots or, more horrifying, of rats biting babies.

One resident claims: “They are large as cats.” Another says: “They are the size of dogs and they are not afraid of humans. They will scurry right around your feet.”

The rodents plaguing Alexandra feed on scraps from bins or on rubbish dumped in the streets. They belong to the Rattus Norvegicus species, known as the Norway rat or the brown rat.

Clean up
To tackle the problem, the City began a massive cleanup campaign on Wednesday, 1 September. It is a response to the problems identified in short films made by six trainee video journalists on the infestation of rats in the township that are breeding in improperly managed rubbish.

The unhygienic conditions in most parts of Alex are excellent breeding ground for rodents

The unhygienic conditions in most parts of Alex are excellent breeding ground for rodents

Participating in the campaign are the Hillside Digital trainee video journalists, Region E, Pikitup, metro police, South African Police Service, Alexandra Urban Renewal Project and local councillors. The campaign will end on 4 September. The areas targeted for the cleanup include Oliver Tambo, Kholofelo ya Joseph, Roosevelt, Alex Vincent, Vasco da Gama and Richard Baloyi.

The six trainee video journalists, all from disadvantaged communities, were trained under the Siyakhona project to become citizen journalists, fighting for the rights of their communities. Siyakhona is part of Sony’s corporate social responsibility collaboration with FIFA. It is implemented through Football for Hope, the FIFA and streetfootballworld movement.

The project is implemented by Hillside Digital, a South African nongovernmental organisation dedicated to giving a voice to impoverished communities.

Speaking at the start of the cleanup at the Square in Alexandra, the Region E regional director, Liziwe Ntshinga-Makoro ,thanked the City departments for uniting to tackle the rat problem. “If we cannot do it together, we are unlikely to win the battle against social challenges.”

She pointed out that initiatives implemented in the past were not successful because of a lack of co-operation between departments and communities. “Urban role management is unlocking the inefficiencies and encouraging a more systematic and integrated approach to service delivery.”

Litter
The City needed to develop a holistic approach to illegal dumping in informal settlements, she added. It needed to encourage people to use rubbish bins and rubbish collection points to reduce rat infestation.

Gotcha! A health officer shows off the size of rats hounding in Alex residents

Gotcha! A health officer shows off the size of rats hounding in Alex residents

Mustapha Hendricks, the chairperson of the pest control task force in the City’s environment health unit, spoke about the five steps that Alex residents could take to keep rats out.

“You have to inspect your property; clean up any droppings or tracks they leave behind; starve them … also shut them out by sealing cracks and holes in your residence; and wipe them out with rodent baiting.”

However, he warned the crowd that using pesticides or baits would not work effectively if they did not change some of their habits. “Rodent bait is an effective way to wipe out rats but it only works if we clear the rubbish first … Instead of throwing out food on to the pavements, wrap it up in plastic bags and throw it into bins.”

To prevent the outbreak of disease, Hendricks explained that his division caught rats on a monthly basis and sent blood samples from them to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases for testing. “So far we have not had any positive results,” he said.

The head of Region E’s health department, Vusi Mazibuko, said the rat infestation in Alexandra was caused by unhygienic conditions, overcrowding, scrap yards and illegal dumping. “If we don’t act quickly about this critical problem, we will have a serious outbreak of diseases.”

Contact the environmental health office on 011 582 1651/2/3 for help in controlling rodents.

Read more: http://www.joburg.org.za/content/view/5639/266/#ixzz0yOoR7awD

By Monde Mdelene

On Friday July 2nd my friends and I went to a fan park to watch the game between Ghana and Uruguay. after the game, we went to a friend’s house in Khayelitsha township.

When we are arrived a friend got a phone call and stepped outside, leaving the rest of us inside the house, after some time we noticed he had been gone for a while so I decided to go and check on him. I found him trying to get into the car and noticed that he had been stabbed. A group of boys had stabbed him five times in his back while robbing him of his cellphone.

He was struggling to breath so we rushed to the hospital. The doctors ran X-rays and released him the next morning, telling him to take it slow for a few days until his stitches healed.

My take is that law enforcement should not just be visible in the city centre and more effective in the neighbourhoods, but in the townships as well. [tweetmeme source=”hillsidedigital” only_single=false]

There comes a time where you have to think about the aftermath of the world cup. There were rumours about the outbreak of xenophobic attacks post world cup. I don’t think that we are united enough to stop these attacks because we as people don’t think about other people’s needs.
Football for Hope Festival in Alexandra
Think about when you’re going to their homes and they start these hate crimes, how will you feel being tortured and treated like an animal? You may say I’m overreacting but I’m not, it was not long ago when our own revolutionaries went to their countries for safety.

We must stop blaming foreigners for lack of jobs and poor service delivery when it is our own government that is slow when it comes to delivery. Let us start to stand up to the government using peaceful means pressuring them to deliver on their election promises.

As a video journalist of Hillside Digital I can say we need to stop such hate before we end up being a nation with no spirit of togetherness. We need to figure out how we can solve all these problems that we have as a country.  

The world cup just ended let us stop this whole madness and carry on with that mojo of one nation. We were united by football so let us be proud of being united as Africans. At Hillside Digital we are very happy about the screenings that we’re going to do in Alexandra, we have issues that are affecting the community. The major problem is the rat issue and it is becoming very sensitive because they even eat babies and they have diseases. If we are not careful and continue to wait for others to solve our problems then we may face the real possibility of an outbreak of the plague. We must work together as a community, as a nation, to solve these problems.

If we can dream to be one, we can become one. At Hillside Digital we are the voice for the voiceless. Let us be proud of who we are and where we come from.