Institutional profile-Tsoelikana Council COE

Institutional profile-Tsoelikana Council COE

Date: July 23, 2013
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“OK, I want to admit I did not like this whole idea of Gender in our council, but now all I can say is that Gender Links is doing a great job”

When the COE process was first introduced to the councillors in Tsoelikana gender as a concept was foreign to the. To date the council has worked very hard to mainstream gender in their policies and overall council and community activities. Both women and men participate equally in the council and during council meetings all decisions taken are on the basis of issues that affect both men and women however in this council women have more influence as they are in the majority.

The council has a total of 27 councillors. Women represent 70% of the councillors compared to men who represent 30% of the councillors. Due to the fact that the council chairperson is a male he automatically chairs the finance committee and the management committee. Men chair a total of 2 committees women chair the other 2 committees in the council, Tsoelikana shows a gender balance in the council in terms of the representation in management.

In 2010 Tsoelikana became a Centre of Excellence for Gender Mainstreaming in Local Government. It has been 2 years since the relationship with GL started, Tsoelikana has made a 30% increase in their progress score from when the first scorecard was administered to the current 2013 score of 70% whereas the initial baseline score was 40%.

The council has lists that show the number of males and females allocated land. More women have land and houses based on the number of letters received form the community requesting land. These lists are available.

Tsoelikana community council does not have a Local Economic Development plan/policy in place however the council is in charge of a project that benefits both the men and women of the community of Tsoelikana. The council is currently building a market space for all the informal traders.

Since the introduction of the notion of climate change, the council has policy/plan on climate change which outlines the challenges and the plans that the council have in place to combat climate change. Some activities include campaigns against deforestation, rangeland management, the continuous use of boreholes, protecting dams and plans to start with recycling. The council holds dialogues to discuss water use and safety.

The council faces challenges, for example, there are no street lights in the area, and the roads that lead between houses are not marked and is gravel posing challenges when there are emergencies, the biggest challenge is the budget cuts that the council faces as the cuts negatively affect the fight against Gender Based Violence. For as long as there are budget cuts the levels of GBV will remain unchanged.

The council has an HIV/ AIDS policy which is adapted from the National policy on HIV/AIDS. In showing support to the immediate community of Tsoelikana the council converted one of the offices into a VCT room for the community. The idea came about when the members of the community were dying from lack of taking their ARV treatment due to the fact that the clinics are tens of kilometres away. The council has an arrangement with the local clinic every month where some clinic staff goes to the council and spends a day there giving community members their treatment and providing other health care services.

The council has given land to those care groups that work with people living with HIV and AIDS. There are lists of all the care workers in the area and the support groups. The council takes part in awareness campgains and provides condoms to the community in an effort to promote healthy sexual practices.

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