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Centane Thusong Service Centre (Eastern Cape)

Launch of a Public Private Partnership at Centane Thusong Service Centre

- by Ndlelantle Pinyana

Centane Partnership Launch Centane Partnership Launch
GCIS exhibition
Launch of the WIPHOLD
Centane Partnership Launch
GCIS exhibition table

Centane, Thursday, 12 June 2008 -

Background - In 2003, government opened a Thusong Service Centre in Centane to provide integrated services closer to communities in and around Centane. These were communities hard - hit by socio economic disparities that can be attributed to our historic past. Since 2003 government services have been accessible to these communities. These following departments became the first to render service to these communities: SASSA, Home Affairs, Social Development, Government Communication and Information Services (GCIS), Justice, Health, SAPS and Labour. A community based telecentre was also opened to provide internet access, printing and photocopying services to communities in particular young people.

As a step towards completion of the second generation clean up in this centre and the 6 block model as expounded in the 2014 business plan, Centane Thusong Centre Thusong Service Centre is slowly getting there. This became evident though the construction and operationalisation of financial services clustered within the Thusong proximity. This was also a community driven initiative that bore fruits on the 12 June 2008.

These fruits would not have been sweeter if the WIPHOLD (Women Investment Portfolio Holding) Group had not joined into the party.

Wiphold bought and renovated two dilapidated buildings next to Centane Thusong Service Centre after seeing that the people of Centane were travelling long distances to get banking and other financial services. The completed structure was to house three giants of the GREENS i.e. Old Mutual, Mutual and Federal and Ned bank. WIPHOLD group also entered into partnership with the Eastern Cape Government to facilitate food security, micro-agriculture, dipping tanks restoration and micro-enterprises such as fence-making.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 marked the launch of this economic initiative within the Centane Thusong Service Centre. The launch included the launch of Mutual & Federal, Old Mutual and Ned bank. On the day, the Provincial department of Agriculture also showcased its popular poverty eradication programme, Siyazondla (Green revolution). Amongst others, this programme instructs people to go back to the land through a variety of agricultural intervention programme like; massive food production programme, dipping tank restoration, irrigation scheme etc.

The Eastern Cape Premier, Mrs Nosimo Balindlela and the MEC for Agriculture Mr Gugile Nkwinti officially launched the groundbreaking and historic Public Private Partnership between WIPHOLD, Community, Mnquma Local Municipality and Eastern Cape Provincial Government. The event took place in Centane Town Hall, opposite the Centane Thusong Service Centre. Hundreds of people attended the official launch of this economic block of the Centane Thusong Service Centre. People came from the length and breath of the Province to witness this huge community-driven initiative.

From the words of one community member interviewed by a GCIS Officer, Pumlani Gabazana: ‘KuCentane akusokuze kufane nakuqala’, meaning that Centane will never be same again and their lives will change for the better.

The day was full of glamour as all the economic GREENS greened the launch of these economic activities in Centane. Their décor was smart but it could not outdo what Government had on display and on exhibition on the day. People were also able to access the information services of Government. The Eastern Cape Premier was impressed and excited to see these efforts of integrating programmes and this is what she had to say: “The arrival of these banking services next to the Thusong Service Centre bodes well with the government’s vision, which encourages integrated service offerings next to where the people live. We are quiet happy that big business has decided to join us and brought these critical services closer to our people, using the Centane Thusong Service Centre.”

The partnership of Old Mutual, Mutual & Federal, Ned bank and Department of agriculture ensures the realisation of the target Government has set i.e. halving poverty and unemployment by 2014. WIPHOLD could not have come at any other time in Centane as elusive financial services are at the door steps of the poor and previously neglected communities. Approximately 97 000 are serviced by Centane Thusong Service Centre.


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