The Eden District Municipality Mayor, Cllr Wessie van der Westhuizen and Municipal Health employees welcomed 16 USA delegates at the Municipal Health offices in George on 16 January 2015. Students arrived with a purpose – to better understand the transitional process of post-apartheid 1994 and how economic policies impacted on the different sectors in South Africa.
The Executive Mayor thanked the group for choosing Eden to broaden their knowledge. Cllr van der Westhuizen presented gift packs and said: “The gift packs contain Ostrich leather key holders, African clocks, information disks with strategies, policies and plans of the district – information that is vital for you to understand what we do on a district level.”
Mr Clive Africa, Executive Manager, Community Services, briefly explained the responsibility of the Eden Municipal Health section and the difference between primary health care and municipal health.
Mr Vernon Gibbs-Halls, Eden’s Biodiversity and Coastal Management officer, extended his sentiment of the current state of the district, future plans to invest in renewable energy and preventative measures in place to tackle climate change. Mr Gibbs-Halls explained that one of the gifts the group received, African clocks, were made out of recycled tuna tins by local communities geared at growing the green economy.
Mr Sivuyile Ntile, Assistant Chief: Municipal Health, lead discussions and a presentation about Eden’s functions, guided by regulations in the National Health Act of 2003.
The content discussed, broadened the delegates’ understanding of the provision of health care, as well as options available to developing countries when tackling the perils of an increasingly globalized world. The latter indicated that a foundation for the pro-poor needs to be maintained and that involving everyone in an inclusive economy is vital to the growth and development of South Africa.