Pretoria - Activist for HIV/Aids, Neo Moepi, who is also a member of the North West Aids Council, has taken a swipe at municipal mayors in the province for failing to support a fight against the pandemic.
Out of 18 local government municipalities and four district municipalities, Moepi cited only the Dr Kenneth Kaunda district, which he said was supportive of the work by the Aids council.
He was speaking at last week's conference by the South African Local Government Association, where mayors from different municipalities across the province were in attendance.
"I would like to challenge you as executive mayors (that) please don't behave the way others have behaved towards us. If the executive mayor or the premier, who is expected to give leadership in the multi-sectoral response to HIV/Aids does not do so, to us as ordinary people it sends the wrong message," Moepi said.
While he sang the praises of the Dr Kenneth Kaunda district municipality for its support in a fight against the scourge of HIV/Aids, he lamented that most mayors were unable to fulfil their responsibilities as chairpersons of municipal Aids councils.
"We have not seen leadership coming from the mayors. The only district that I can report to have shown commitment before you were elected (during the November 1 municipal polls) is DR Kenneth Kaunda. Even today Dr KK has started to show the Aids council and the multi-sectoral response is led by the mayors," Moepi said.
He told mayors that without their municipalities putting aside a budget for HIV/Aids programmes people on the ground would bear the brunt of their action.
"We need money to run a multi-sectoral response. Without a budget from each municipality it won't be possible to run programmes in your wards," he said.
Last year, Moepi reportedly expressed worries that the council was left to function without any resources to fight HIV/Aids.
At the time, he conceded that the council in North West had collapsed.
"The deputy president comrade, David Mabuza, must come to the North West, the council he launched in 2019 has collapsed. They must come and dissolve it and must meet with people living with HIV/Aids and civil society to discuss a way forward.
“We do not want the Provincial Aids Council in the office of the premier. The money is there, we cannot access it, today there is nothing,” Moepi said.