Deputy President hands over a bus to the University of Zululand Ongoye Choir in recognition of their HIV and Aids ambassadorial work

Deputy President David Mabuza in his capacity as Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), has today, 01 December 2019, handed over a Bus to the University of Zululand Ongoye Choir in recognition of their active participation in the fight against HIV, TB and STI's.

The Official Handover of the Bus to the KwaZulu-Natal Natal based Ongoye choir took place during the World AIDS DAY Commemoration event which was held at the James Motlatsi Stadium, Klerksdorp, in the North West Province.

In congratulating the Ongoye Choir for their continued hard work in conscientising communities, Deputy President Mabuza said that, "the successful outreach programme led by Choir signifies yet another example of working together across all sectors of society in the fight to defeat AIDS epidemic and TB".

This year's World AIDS Day was held under the theme - Communities making the difference, Cheka Impilo an opportunity for communities to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and remember those who lost their lives to this epidemic.

Deputy President Mabuza also called for community action in line with this year's theme. Community action, remains an important pillar in making change happen, and in shaping policy agenda and outcomes. Communities must make a difference in ending stigma and discrimination against key populations and those infected by HIV and TB, said Deputy President Mabuza.

The event which was attended by thousands of members of the surrounding communities, also presented a platform to evaluate progress achieved and take stock more work that is required in line with the vision of zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

During his address to the community, the Deputy President mentioned that South Africa has the biggest HIV treatment programme in the world, with more than 4.5 million people on life-saving antiretrovirals.

Furthermore, the Deputy President said that the anti-retroviral treatment programme has resulted to an increase in life expectancy of our people and low levels of mother-to-child HIV transmission rates.

In this regard, Deputy President Mabuza conveyed a word of appreciation to partners such as the United Nations family, the United States Government through its PEPFAR programme and the Global Fund for their unwavering and continued support for our country HIV and AIDS response programmes.

"We could not achieve this without partnerships and support from our global partners. That is why, we must appreciate the contribution of the global campaign under by UNAIDS that galvanised all of us in political leadership, civil society and private sector into coherent action", said Deputy President Mabuza.

Deputy President Mabuza was joined by amongst others, the new Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS, Ms Winnie Byanyima, cabinet Ministers, the Premier of the North West Province, Prof Job Mokgoro and members of the executive council, representatives of business and civil society organisations.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa