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The MMC of Health and Social Development is steering a public consultation drive on five of Council’s recently approved draft policies on gender, youth, disability (GeYoDi), ESP and substance abuse.

Cllr Eunice Mgcina seeks public inputs and comments on how these recently reviewed policies can be aligned with Outcome 1 of the City’s Growth and Development Strategy.

“I urge all residents of Johannesburg to familiarise themselves and engage with these draft policies as the responsibility of policy formulation is a joint effort between the City and the public,” says Cllr Mgcina.

She notes that the public consultation drive will afford members of the public a voice to raise their concerns throughout the policy formulation process.

“Other means of engagement with the policies are to collect hard copies from Regional Offices of Social Development, where comment boxes are also available,” Cllr Mgcina explains.

The youth draft policy recognises that youth development is a transversal programme in the City and identifies several programmes to support this approach (job-creation, poverty alleviation, skills development, health and environment programmes, youth moral regeneration programmes, etc.)

The gender draft policy unifies gender issues that are now elevated and require action in all spheres of government.

“Policy review in this respect is non-negotiable. Previously the policy focused on women development, whereas the current draft policy focuses on all genders,” she says.

The people with disability draft policy calls on the removal of discriminatory barriers for persons with disabilities. It also provides a broad outline of the responsibilities of various stakeholders in ensuring the provision of appropriate service delivery to persons with disabilities.
“It also promotes the equal enjoyment of all human rights and the fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities in the City,” Cllr Mgcina says.

The expanded social package (ESP) draft policy identifies that the City continues to be characterised by a high poverty rate, which is above 25%. The objective is to link households eligible for assistance with the social safety net that exists at the provincial and local level.

The substance abuse draft policy calls for increased awareness on the negative impact of substance abuse on individuals and the community through educational programmes. It also calls for efficient and effective substance abuse prevention and early intervention programmes.