By Selina Rapulane 09 May 2022
Community member asking questions regarding Home Affairs Department services
On the 29 April 2022 the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Law Clinic held a Community Outreach Programme at Saul Tsotetsi Sports Centre in Sebokeng to help, uplift, and support community members who feel deprived of certain services from government departments.
The programme was intended to also foster and strengthen relationships between government departments and the community members, as well as sharing of inputs from the community members.
The VUT Law Clinic identified a need to bring all government stakeholders on board in order for communities to get firsthand information from each stakeholder.
In this regard, several government departments were invited to join this initiative of working directly with individuals, assessing their needs and then guiding them to the appropriate resources. A lot of people in the community feel they don’t get assisted accordingly, whenever they go to departments for help.
“We have invited all these departments to come and hear your cries today. We deal with lot of cases at our Clinic, and we realized that many people don’t know where to go and who to ask for help. All these departments are here to channel you in the right direction, and this will help you to have proper documents in case you seek legal advice thereafter”, said Ms Dimakatso Dhlamini, Principal Attorney at VUT Law Clinic.
She further mentioned that some of the departments that were invited could not be present due to unforeseen circumstances, but expressed appreciation to those that were able to make it, such as:
“I believe everyone who is here has their own problems that they need to be assisted on. People have been cheated on by fake government officials claiming they will assist them, but today we are glad that they are here in our midst to help us. Thank you VUT for organizing this”, said Mr Paul Lebusa, Community Leader in Sebokeng as he opened the programme.
Commenting about the success of the law clinic, Mr Chris Mahumane, a Paralegal at the clinic, said: “We have been assisting a lot of people with different types of cases, and I am happy that you accepted our invite in numbers, to get all the assistance you need from all departments that are here”.
By the end of the programme, there was a lot of progress made. Community members were happy that their questions were answered, and they knew what they need to do to resolve their problems. Informal counselling and social support services were offered to those that needed help.
To conclude the programme, Ms Dhlamini offered legal advice to those who were in need and later encouraged them to visit the VUT Law Clinic for a free consultation.
About the Law Clinic:
If you need legal advice but you can’t afford a lawyer, kindly visit the VUT Law Clinic for free advice.
The Clinic provides legal services related to:
Address: 5 Moshoeshoe Street Sebokeng 1989
Tel: 016 930 5045/5098