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Mpumalanga Provincial Municipal Health Services Summit





Posted: 17 October 2019

SALGA in Mpumalanga together with Ehlanzeni District Municipality, brought together all Environmental Health Practitioners in the Province in its third provincial MHS summit, held on the 16th – 17th of October at Ingwenyama Conference and Sports Resort in the area of City of Mbombela Local Municipality. The summit focused on the following objectives:

  • To raise awareness on the functions of MHS as part of basic service delivery that is critical for local government;
  • To provide a learning opportunity for Environmental Health Practitioners on Current developments, procedures, techniques and academic research in the field of Environmental Health.
  • To find solutions for problems relating to Environmental Health
  • To facilitate co-operative governance and Intergovernmental Relations in the Environmental Health sector
  • To empower municipal officials on the legislation that governs MHS services as well as current or emerging trends in the sector, and
  • To share best practices and current developments on the implementation of MHS services.


Opening session
As the Executive Mayor of the City of Mbombela Cllr. Sibusiso Mathonsi officially welcomed the delegates and guests at the Summit, he said that "We need to tighten controls on counterfeit goods, build capacity to deal with toxic & hazardous waste which is disposed of in rivers, impacting badly in our communities".
This was supported by Cllr. Mavis Charles, Interim Chairperson of the Provincial Working Group as she gave the Opening Remarks saying that "Environmental Health Practitioners in Mpumalanga have experienced lots of challenges when it comes to food control, especially on school food nutrition".
A message of support was received from the Executive Mayor of Ehlanzeni District Municipality. "The smuggling of cheap counterfeit goods into our country poses a risk to our economy, especially the health of our communities. As health practitioners, we need to penalize & educate working together with stakeholders and communities", said Cllr. Jesta Sidell.
Cllr. Stanley Ramaila, SALGA National Working Group Chairperson thereafter Set the Tone of what is expected for the Summit and what is currently happening within the space. "The Summit comes at the right time as we are currently engaged in the National Health Insurance Bill. As SALGA we acknowledge the notable progress on the successes implemented in the 3 districts", said Cllr. Ramaila.

The Keynote Address at the two-day Mpumalanga Municipal Health Services Summit was delivered by Hon. MEC for the Mpumalanga Department of Health Ms. Sasekani Manzini. "It is imperative to reflect on the progress made in the health sector since the dawn of democracy. The NHI gives a clear directive on the functioning of health care & services for Local Government", said the MEC. As she spoke, MEC Manzini highlighted that in all engagements she is the champion of presenting the National Health Insurance Bill, introducing and explaining what it is and how it will benefit South Africans once implementation begins.

Status of Municipal Health Services in Mpumalanga session
During this session, presentations was received from Mr. Sikhetho Mavundza, SALGA Specialist: Municipal Health Services on the outcomes of the SALGA MHS National Summit as well as the outcomes of the Annual MHS Audit. Mrs Sibusiswe Goba-Sigawuke, SALGA Senior Advisor: Inclusive Communities thereafter presented on the Progress on the implementation of the 2018 Summit resolutions.
The three districts in the province (Ehlanzeni, Gert Sibande and Nkangala) also presented on the current operational and policy issues, indicating their successes, challenges and gaps

Current and Emerging issues session
During this session, Mr. Murdock Ramathuba from the Department of Health gave an update on the Legislative review process, focusing on the National Health Act Amendment Bill, the National Environmental Health Bill and the National Health Insurance Bill.
Advocate Siyabulela Pendani from the City of Tshwane presented on Understanding Section 24 of the Constitution from the perspective of Municipal Health Services and Environmental Management.
Dr. Lutendo Sylvia Mudau from Tshwane University of Technology presented on the Use of Digital Technologies as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in rendering Municipal Health Services.

As part of day two, Dr. Joyce Shirinde from the University of Pretoria presented on Health at the center of the Sustainable Development Goals and the role of Municipal Health Service.
Prof. Fannie Machete from the University of South Africa presented on the Industrialization of recycling through the adoption of Supply chain accelerated recycling model in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality.
Prof. Moses Mbewe, Dean of Agricultural & Natural Sciences from the University of Mpumalanga presented on River Health: A Microbiological Old Problem Viewed in the Light of New Health Solutions.
Ms. Nomsa Thabethe from the University of South Africa presented on the Human Health effects associated with Gold mine tailings in Govan Mbeki municipality.
Mr. TP Mbonane from the University of Johannesburg presented on the Association between environmental lead exposure and violent criminal behaviour amongst young adults.

A panel discussion on Interventions on the Noncomplying Products to the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act No. 54 of 1972) was also received at the Summit. The panel discussion was facilitated by Dr. Joyce Shirinde from the University of Pretoria and panelists included:
a) Mr. Dan Hlanyane from Ehlanzeni District Municipality
b) Mr. Godfrey Phaswane from Ehlanzeni District Municipality
c) Adv. Siyabulela Pendani from the City of Tshwane

The Mpumalanga Municipal Health Services Summit concluded with resolutions being presented and adopted by the delegates, for implementation as part of the action plan that will be developed. “Strengthening the delivery of municipal health services by municipalities”.
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