This week marks Thusong Service Centre Week. Previously known as multipurpose community centres, Thusong centres were set up in 1997 to give communities access to information, particularly in per-urban areas.
Acting Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Director General Donald Liphoko on Monday said Thusong centres promote access to economic opportunities and advance government’s vision of a better life for all, as envisioned in the National Development Plan.
“While not in all centres, skills development programmes exist in a number of Thusong centres to empower communities with the necessary skills and training to better their lives through existing partnerships with government, parastatals and the private sector,” said Liphoko at the start of the Third Annual Thusong Service Centre Week.
There are currently 197 centres countywide. Liphoko estimated that at least five million citizens use Thusong centres each year.
“Government continues to prioritise the acceleration of service delivery and remains determined to ensure that citizens can access various basic government services in their residential areas. A number of the centres also cater for the development of small businesses to help them grow and thrive in the communities they serve,” said Liphoko.
The Third Annual Thusong Service Centre Week is held under the theme, ‘Moving the Public Service Forward: We Belong, We Care, We Serve’.
The week will start with a showcasing event, which will be led by the Deputy Minister of Communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffrey at the Mossel Bay Thusong Service Centre in the Western Cape.
Liphoko said 19 subsidiary showcasing events will be held across all provinces today to kick off the week. He said government will focus on widening access and promoting knowledge among citizens through open days, exhibitions, outreach events and activations in different communities across the country.
These will be done in partnership with various stakeholders including Home Affairs, Labour, Justice, Small Business Development, SASSA, Road Accident Fund, NYDA, Military Veterans Department and SARS.
A total of 86 events have been planned across the nine provinces during as a way of drawing public attention to the centres and the programmes and services they offer. The closing event of the Third Annual Thusong Service Centre Week will take place on Friday at Breyten Thusong Service Centre in Mpumalanga.