A heartwarming act of generosity unfolded when MEC Mlungisi Mvoko, MEC for the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) handed over a mobile office to the Sinako Organisation for the Blind (SOB), in Ethembeni Location.
The SOB is known for its beadwork that benefits the local community.
The collaboration between DEDEAT and the Eastern Cape Disability Economic Empowerment Trust (ECDEET), a disabled people organisation, played a pivotal role in making this generous gesture a reality.
During the handover ceremony, MEC Mvoko emphasized the importance of partnerships between government and organisations like ECDEET, stating: “The government cannot be everywhere and serve everyone alone but requires other organisations who will partner with it to reach areas that government cannot reach.”
The SOB had long desired to have its own space to work efficiently. ECDEET engaged with the council and the organisation was granted a piece of land within Amathole District Municipality to house this converted container, which now serves as their mobile office.
In addition to the mobile office, Amathole District Municipality contributed by handing over a 5,000-litre water tank, together with gardening utensils such as watering cans and hose pipes, ensuring that Sinako Organisation for the Blind can further expand its activities. Ethembeni Location is near Stutterheim under Amathole District Municipality and the handover took place on 6 September 2023.
This partnership, initiated through a five-year Memorandum of Understanding in 2018, has seen DEDEAT providing annual funding of R2 million to ECDEET. This funding supports various economic development, empowerment and training programmes aimed at capacitating persons with disabilities to seize opportunities in the economic sector and ensure their participation in the mainstreamed economy.
Over the years, this partnership has resulted in numerous legacy projects throughout the province, benefiting both urban and rural areas.
DEDEAT is striving towards an Eastern Cape with a growing, transformed, diversified and inclusive green economy in a sustainable environment. ECDEET focuses on empowering persons with disabilities to lead independent lives and fully participate in mainstream society.