8 February 2012
Popular South African actress Leleti Khumalo has joined forces with the KwaZulu-Natal government to help communities, especially young people, to take action to improve their own standards of living.
Khumalo is the ambassador for the Leleti School Grounds project, which forms part of Operation Sukuma Sakhe, a provincial government initiative aimed at assisting communities to rise beyond their current circumstances.
The Durban-born actress, who is known for her outstanding performances in Sarafina and Yesterday, will co-ordinate and host Uzogcwala La!, a magazine television show which will be filmed in townships around Durban and rural areas across the province.
On Monday, Khumalo joined MEC for Finance Ina Cronje at Eastwood Secondary School in Pietermaritzburg to interact with the local community, informing them of the purpose of the programme.
‘Stand up and do things for yourselves’
“We are here to listen to you,” Khumalo said. “We brought you all the government departments to give you answers. But by the same token, we would also like to encourage young people to stand up and do things for themselves and come up with solutions so that the government can meet us halfway.”
Leleti School Grounds was officially launched at JL Dube in KwaMashu, north of Durban last week.
Cronje, a champion of the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, said: “For too long, communities have been stuck in first gear. We are going to turn this skoro-skoro into a racing car. But we have to push together if we are to win the race against poverty, unemployment and all social ills of alcohol and drug abuse, teenage pregnancies and HIV/Aids.
“The government is moving service delivery for young people in this area into top gear,” Cronje said. “I am happy to engage with learners, teachers and communities about the issues that lie close to their hearts. Our engagement does not end here, we will follow up on your issues.”
‘Teach our parents about substance abuse’
Learners at Eastwood Secondary School used the opportunity to talk about teenage pregnancy, substance abuse and financial assistance towards further education.
One learner, who did not want to be named, asked that government come up with a strategy to teach parents at home about substance abuse. The learner said that although schools have programmes in place to educate them, they still have to go back home to parents who have substance abuse problems.
Cronje also officially launched the War Room in Eastwood to ensure government visibility at a household level.
“Each household will be profiled and the various departments and the various role players will assist the household members with their respective needs,” said Cronje.