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Appointment expected to boost social cohesion efforts in terms of migration

Mxolisi Ncube

JOHANNESBURG – The African Diaspora Forum’s deputy chairperson, Abdeslam Habiballah, recently added another page to his social work portfolio, when the South African government appointed him a social cohesion advocate.

Mr Habiballah, who also doubles as Chairperson for the Union of Arab Community in SA, will serve a 4-year term, for the 2019-2024 period.

He was notified of his appointment in a letter signed by Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, late last week.

The appointment follows the government’s conclusion of the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF), with social cohesion and safer communities set out as one of the key priorities for “the current administration.”

“Since social cohesion is a societal matter, and not so much a challenge for government alone to mitigate, government has sought to open platforms for South Africans of good standing in an effort to afford them an opportunity to also make a contribution to this most important strategic objective,” read the appointment Minister’s letter, a copy of which was seen by African Voice Global news.

“In that regard, the Ministry has a programme on Social Cohesion Advocates, who volunteer their time, expertise and experience in a bid to assist the country in meeting the objective of a socially integrated and inclusive society.”

Government has set social cohesion as one of its key points in dispatching its electoral mandate during the next five years. The Social Cohesion Advocates programme is therefore, extremely important and timely, as one of the instruments to effect social change, said the minister.

“Given your standing in society, your expertise and your experience, the Ministry will support you as a Social Cohesion Advocate in any work you may elect to undertake that furthers the objective of a fully integrated and inclusive society.”

The Department of Arts and Culture has designed a number of programs for which the appointed advocate will be called upon to assist.

Mr Habiballah’s appointment will go a long way in bringing synergy between government programmes and migrants’ rights.

Mr Habiballah is a South African citizen, of Moroccan origin, is set to go for a two-day induction programme by the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture.

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