As part of the project, the province will adopt a “war room” approach originally pioneered in KwaZulu-Natal to strengthen coordination between departments such as the departments of health, social development and home affairs.
According to Mabuza, the province already has 37 ward-based war rooms that serve to bring a range of community structures and service providers together including community policing forums, taxi associations and churches.
Since 2011, KwaZulu-Natal’s Operation Sukuma Sakhe has led to the establishment of more than 600 functioning “war rooms”, according to KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu 2015 state of the province address. Operation Sukuma Sakhe, or “let’s stand together, “ has also become a central feature of the HIV response by collecting important health and socio-economic data to not only shape the province’s HIV response but respond to household needs.
At Operation Vuka Sisebente’s recent launch, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza said he hoped the programme would similarly allow government services to better cater for society’s most vulnerable.
“Operation Vuka Sisebente aims at making life easy for all women, children, elderly and people with disabilities by bringing government services closer to them,” he told OurHealth.
“I (have) heard your calls about water shortage, school infrastructure and bad roads,” continued Mabuza, who added that he hoped Operation Vuka Sisebente would reduce service delivery protests in the province.