Description: The project was established in September 2003 and is managed by the Siyancuma Local Municipality to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the surrounding towns of Douglas, Griekwastad, Campbell and Schmidtdrift. Task Team participants include municipal officials, community-based organisations, non-government organisations, schools, the National African Farmers Union, churches and the Dept. of Social Services. The project aims to support existing HIV/AIDS work in Siyancuma, by increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS, encouraging voluntary counselling and testing, and creating job opportunities for those affected by the virus.
Innovation: The task team is a first for a municipal/community-based partnership, established to address an issue that affects all stakeholders. Although the municipality hosts the project, members of the task team and the broader forum take all decisions jointly.
Effectiveness: Several awareness campaigns and public meetings have been held in the participating towns. A concerted effort is made to de-stigmatise the disease and HIV + people show how it is possible to live a productive life.
Poverty Impact: Specific projects have been identified to address the high unemployment and poverty levels that has contributed to the spread of the disease. These include, five local economic development projects, three of these will support local tourism, one project will develop and upgrade the local river resort, while the fifth involves the construction of a service station outside Schmidtsdrift.
Sustainability: Financial and administrative support has been received. Support funding was provided by SALA/IDA (Sweden), administered by the Municipal Training and Development Institute (MTI). The total cost of the project is estimated at R800,000. SALA/IDA funding ended in April 2005. The municipality, the project host, will take responsibility for continued support of the task team and the project.
Replication: Other municipalities can learn from the example of this partnership.