Social Development Metro South regional manager Quinton Arendse has called on Mitchell’s Plain residents to lend their support to the branch Afrikaanse Christelike Vroue Vereeniging (ACVV).
The ACVV is a non-profit organisation consisting of a national council and head office with 115 branches in four provinces and 220 service programmes across five focus areas, including social work and child protection, early child development (ECD), older persons and special needs, and leadership and training.
Speaking at the local office’s annual general meeting, Mr Arendse said: “If you want to shape a community, you have to work with the people. Mitchell’s Plain belongs to the people of Mitchell’s Plain.”
Last year the ACVV head office and a few members of ACVV’s Mitchell’s Plain management asked the Delft crèche management board to assist as a legal entity for the local branch, which had been suffering financially since 2011.
The Mitchell’s Plain branch opened its doors in 1985, with two satellite offices in Beacon Valley and two in Westridge, including two crèches.
One Mitchell’s Plain crèche and the Delft crèche, a service branch under the management of Magnolia Retirement Home for the elderly, in Bellville, have since closed.
Patricia Britz-Smith, regional consultant and manager of the local ACVV branch in Westridge, agreed with Mr Arendse, saying that if the community took ownership of the office, it would limit their challenges. These include safety and vandalism which continues to be a major concern and impact on the moral of staff; fundraising and maintenance on the building and a lack of laptops.
Ms Britz-Smith said drug abuse continues to have a negative impact on the community with parents neglecting and abandoning their children daily, leaving them in the care of their grandparents.
“Due to this, foster care applications have been on the increase,” she said.
She said there is a need for safe houses with rehabilitation centres for mothers to stay with their children and inpatient rehabilitation centres, as drug users were becoming younger.
“Once the community takes ownership and gets involved on the organisation’s management board, then we can limit the amount of challenges we face,” said Ms Britz-Smith. For more information and to get involved visit ACVV Mitchell’s Plain, corner of Simonsig and Boschendal Streets, in Westridge, or call 021 392 4147.