The annual Long Service Awards took place on Thursday, 24 August 2017, at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre. The MEC, Father Gift van Staden, delivered the Keynote address. In his speech he thanked and gave recognition to the “lifeblood” of the Department who served with loyalty and distinction, singling out the Care Givers at the Institutions.

MEC van Staden also reminded all that there is still a difficult task ahead, referring to the statistics on Poverty Trends in South Africa, which found that 59% of people still live in poverty, an improvement of the 74% in 2006. He said that Government needs to be innovative to do more with little, quoting a young lady he recently met, “We constantly have to innovate or else we will evaporate.”

MEC also highlighted the importance of wellness, saying that a healthy, physically active and mentally fit workforce are needed, as well as the need for continuous skills development, in order to hold us to the highest standards of service, probity and  integrity. He said that it is of concern that maladministration and corruption define Government’s work and not the great service  delivery achievements.

A total of 55 employees received certificates for their 10 Years of Service; 19 from the Frances Baard District, 17 at the Provincial office, six (6) from both the Namakwa and Pixley ka Seme Districts, four (4) from the ZF Mgcawu District and three (3) from the John Taolo Gaetsewe District.

The four (4) employees who reached 20 Years of Service are:
 - Pauline Mmereki (Provincial: Substance Abuse);
 - John Kearns (Provincial: Labour Relations);
 - Eldia Deetlefs (Provincial: Finance);
 - Tshepi Makhosane (Provincial: Institutional Funding & Management).
After 30 Years of Service the following nine (9) employees are still going strong:
 - Donald Whitebooi (Provincial: Restorative Services);
 - Connie Mkontwana (Provincial: Population Development);
 - Gamiem Abrahams (Provincial: Communication);
 - Lungi Sokatsha (Provincial: Institutional Funding & Management);
 - Joseph Nocwanya (Frances Baard: Corporate Services);
 - Novina van Dieman (Frances Baard: Social Welfare Services);
 - Anna van Wyk (Frances Baard: Lorato Place of Safety);
 - Sarie Fortuin (ZF Mgcawu: Community Development);
 - Luke Solomon (ZF Mgcawu: Corporate Services).

Only one (1) employee, who will remain anonymous, reached 40 years of service. Quite an achievement and a sign of dedication; especially in the current era of “job hopping”.
The following seven (7) employees, who already retired, were also honoured:
 - Valerie Mathakgane, formerly from Provincial: Institutional Funding & Management;
 - Susan Mokwena, formerly from Lorato Place of Safety;
 - George Khati, formerly from Frances Baard Community Development;4
 - Christine van Wyk, formerly from Lorato Place of Safety;
 - Hazel Kwenane, formerly from Lorato Place of Safety;
 - Wallace Schwartz, formerly from ZF Mgcawu: Corporate Services;
 - Ri na Jacobs, formerly from Provincial: Human Resource Management.

Entertainment was provided by the SAPS Band and CTBO & Black Divine”.