The DA will write to Premier Supra Mahumapelo to establish his reasons for unexpectedly dissolving the North West Provincial Council on AIDS.
Since 2001, the North West Provincial Council on AIDS has been making great strides in coordinating HIV/AIDS programmes and mobilising all available resources in the province to combat this epidemic. With over 441 816 people living with HIV, the establishment of the Aids council was vital to fighting this epidemic in our province.
Statistics reveal that the province has experienced an increase in new HIV/AIDS infections and deaths. Up to 5 000 people die annually from HIV-related diseases.
Despite this, the Premier has now repealed the AIDS Act and dissolved the Aids Council. We are shocked that the Premier would dissolve such an important body, directly mandated to combat the spread of HIV and AIDS.
It seems that while there are more and more cases of HIV/AIDS in the province, the Premier is doing less and less to address this.
Civil society organizations, NGOs and several treatment action campaigns have also accused the provincial government of not listening to their plans, concerns or solutions to combatting AIDS.
Combatting HIV/AIDS is vital and yet it seems the Premier is more concerned with distributing food parcels than fighting the spread of the virus.
It is during this time that we must draw inspiration from Kofi Anan who said : “The fight against HIV/AIDS requires leadership from all parts of government - and it needs to go right to the top. AIDS is far more than a health crisis. It is a threat to development itself”.
The DA will always put the rights, interests and wellbeing of all people first.
Issued by DA North West