A community meeting commemorating World Aids Day was held on Tuesday, 1 December at the Pinetown Library Centre and saw various community role players in attendance.
The meeting was held to create awareness around HIV/Aids, 16 days of Activism against women and child abuse as well as Gender Based Violence. The event was hosted by the Department of Community Safety and Liaison and included role players such as Fidelity ADT, Metro Police, SAPS and various Clinic representatives who deal with these issues on a daily basis.
“All the crucial issues currently faced in South Africa were discussed by relevant experts. The floor was also opened for questions after each speaker, giving all attendees the opportunity to raise concerns and get clarity around these matters. Powerful testimonies were shared and elements such as the most efficient process to follow to report and act on such crimes were also addressed,” says Fidelity ADT’s district manager for KwaZulu-Natal, Vaughan Pillay.
The event was held under strict COVID-19 protocols with guests being seated at the appropriate distances, wearing masks and sanitising throughout the morning. It was mentioned that although South Africa has made positive advancements on some of these matters, there were still a lot of issues that needed to be addressed.
“We focused on some of the positives around how these matters are currently being handled, particularly in the Pinetown area. All parties agreed that there are definitely areas that need to be improved from a reporting point of view as well as taking such matters to court,” Pillay added.
Fidelity ADT’s District Community Development Manager, Sean Kennedy addressed the delegates around the 16 days of Activism against women and child abuse campaign and shared a few safety tips with the audience. “Many opportunistic criminals will be on the look-out for what they perceive to be ‘soft targets’, especially now during the pandemic. This means that being aware of your surroundings and potential threats is perhaps one of the most valuable lines of defence. It is of utmost importance to trust your instincts. Women have great intuition and should listen to their instincts. If someone or something makes you feel uneasy, avoid the individual and leave the area. Make contact with your private security service provider and ask them if they offer a mobile panic alarm service, which can be downloaded to your mobile phone. Tell someone where you are going and the time you expect to return. Save the details of the person to be contacted in the event of an emergency to your mobile phone or memorise it. Be aware of people around you when heading to your vehicle, especially at places such as shopping centres and petrol stations. Ensure that you take a moment to check the street before pulling into a driveway, be it your own or a friend’s residence,” he said.
The event was also accompanied by prayer around these topics and summaries on the way forward. Proceedings concluded with a lunch being served to all attendees and time for informal discussion.
“We were honoured to be a part of this event and will continue to contribute towards the safety and security of our Durban communities, particularly our women and children. We were humbled to be chosen as the security company to represent our industry on the day and would like to thank the organisers for the opportunity,” Pillay concluded.