17 November 2018


CDWs urged to work harder despite challenges in communities

by: Kagiso Metswamere and Obakeng Maje   date: 02 february 2018

Community Development Workers (CDWs) of Bokone Bophirima have been urged to continue serving the people whole heartedly, despite the challenges they experience in communities.
Speaking to Community Development Workers during the Provincial Consultative Engagement at Mocoseng Sundown Lodge in Mahikeng on Tuesday, a representative of Minister of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), Faith Muthambi, said government will work tirelessly to equip CDWs with the necessary resources to do their work effectively.
The Minister’s Special Advisor, Professor Sipho Seepe, said: 
“The department understands the condition that you are working under and as workers you must stay focused, take pride in yourself and make sure that you profile yourself in your corner by making sure that you serve the people at your best, no matter the circumstances. We must emulate leaders of the past such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu, who committed themselves to the liberation struggle and serving the people”. 
Minister Muthambi - who was out of the country on the day of the gathering - is on a drive to engage CDWs throughout the country as part of preparations for this year’s CDWs national conference which will be held from 25 to 27 February in Gauteng.
The meeting discussed many challenges CDWs face such as lack of resources, inadequte skills and danger in their line of duty. There are 3239 CDWs countrywide and government’s ultimate aim is to reach one CDW per ward. 
Professor Seepe assured the session that the Minister views the empowerment of CDWs as important and will definitely work tirelessly to improve their working conditions.
“The department has committed to ensuring that the correct tools of trade and conditions of service in general are looked at urgently to enable you to effectively serve the people. The Minister will continue to engage with your provincial government to ensure that they resolve some of the critical challenges you have stated in this session,” he said.
Manager for HIV/TB and STI for Public Service, Morero Leseka said CDWs are “the link between communities and government. They play a pivotal role in disseminating messages to communities and assist them to access government services”.
Deputy Director General for Service Delivery, Monitoring and Intervention in the Office of the Premier, Jimmy Mawelela, said CDWs in the province assist in the implementation of  the province’s five concretes of implementing service delivery.
“We have noted the challenges that are being raised by our workers here, but let me be quick to say some of them are the ones that we know and are being resolved,” he said, adding that they will continue to work with DPSA to resolve other outstanding issues that need urgent attention.
Community Development Worker from Marikana, Moses Molebatsi, said they want the same benefits that are being enjoyed by councillors because they do the work that’s almost similar.  
“We want our government to look into giving us similar benefits with those of councillors because when the community engages in protests, they threaten us the same way they do to them. Councillors earn a lot of money but we are at lower levels with a high risk job. We are being threatened by our own communities and taking bullets for government almost on a daily basis,” she said. 
Another Community Development Worker, Kabelo Mauco from Mahikeng said: “We welcome the workshop and we clearly understand our role. We also urge councillors to work together with us because there are so many challenges our people are faced with. We also need government to treat us like public servants and receive all benefits.”