An awareness campaign to educate the community not to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation, educate the residents about the spread of HIV/Aids pandemic and how to access help from the courts was held in Mokuruanyane village, Lephalale.
Lephalale Municipality spokesperson Conscious Chiloane said the campaing was aimed at raising awareness on human rights.
The awareness campaign was hosted by Limpopo Department of Justice in Lephalale Regional office, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex sector together with the Equality Court Forum.
Chiloane said various stakeholders took the opportunity to present information to members of the public with the aim of raising awareness on human rights, outlining the role of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Court, South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), Commission for Gender Equality, Legal Aid South Africa and other stakeholders and Equality Courts.
Chiloane added that the campaign was also aimed at providing networking opportunity between various stakeholders and the public to ensure a more active and effective use of the Equality Courts to counter discrimination, racism and other form of intolerances.
Health Department official Peter Kolobe took the opportunity to discuss with the public on issues of available health services and the state of HIV/AIDS in the area.
He explained that like any other mining town more especially on the border, frequent by truckers, Lephalale was experiencing serious challenges of HIV/AIDS.
Kolobe said Health Department was also channelling its focus to key population groups including gays, sex workers and truck drivers e to educate them on measures to curb the spread of the pandemic and the benefits of circumcision.
“Parents were encouraged to start having discussions with their children on issues relating to sex and Sexual Transmitted Infections. Unlike in the past things have changed and it is our responsibility as parents to ensure that our children are well equipped with information and protected from engaging in activities that will endanger their health” said Kolobe.
Lephalale Municipality’s Acting Manager in the Legal Division, Queen Mphahlele, said the Municipality ensures that in its mandate to uphold the human rights of residents within local communities, the provision of adequate services remains a priority.
Mphahlele said that all residents within the Municipal jurisdiction were treated equally and fairly with their inherent dignity despite their sexual orientation.
“Lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender intersexual people are human and deserve respect and support. The Municipality does not discriminate on the basis of one’s sexual orientation, sex or gender,” said Mphahlele.