Mthethwa appoints Yusuf Abramjee to lead the Social Cohesion Advocates tackling GBV, racism and xenophobia

Mthethwa has congratulated Abramjee on his appointment, adding that he was confident that the activist would take the Social Cohesion Advocates programme to the next level.

Minister of Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation, Nathi Mthethwa with outspoken activist Yusuf Abramjee. Photo: Supplied

Mthethwa has congratulated Abramjee on his appointment, adding that he was confident that the activist would take the Social Cohesion Advocates programme to the next level.

Pretoria – Minister of Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation Nathi Mthethwa has announced the appointment of outspoken activist Yusuf Abramjee as the chairperson of the National Steering Committee of Social Cohesion Advocates (SCA).

The announcement was made in Kempton Park when advocates from across the country met. Abramjee has been a member of the Social Cohesion Advocates since the programme was launched in Kliptown in 2012.

Abramjee, former head of news and programming at Primedia Broadcasting and a former station manager of Radio 702, said he was “humbled and honoured” to take up the role.

“We must take the social cohesion programmes to every corner of South Africa. We need to stand up against gender-based violence, racism and xenophobia, and we must all promote unity and national pride. Active citizenry must be brought to life,” said Abramjee.

In 2013, the popular anti-crime activist received a National Order from government for community service. He is also first vice-president of Crime Stoppers International (CSI).

Mthethwa congratulated Abramjee on his appointment, adding that he was confident that Abramjee would take the SCA programme to the next level.

A social cohesion strategy was approved by Cabinet on 13 June 2012. Immediately after this, the Department of Arts and Culture convened the National Social Cohesion Summit in Kliptown, Soweto, on 4 – 5 July 2012.

The aim of the summit was to afford citizens and sectors of society to contribute to a practical programme to implement the strategic plan.

“Significantly, the summit was representative of all key sectors of society ranging from government, the youth, people with disabilities, business, labour, cultural and religious groups, political parties and civil society. This culminated in a declaration with the 12 summit resolutions,” the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) said.

“Subsequently, the DAC developed an Implementation Framework, based on the declaration, which includes mobilisation of all sectors of society to help build a caring and proud society. To achieve this, a number of eminent South Africans who epitomise values and principles of a good citizen and, in their lives and work, contributed to the attainment of democracy and freedom were appointed to serve as Advocates for Social Cohesion.”

Additionally, Mthethwa has announced the new national steering committee of the Social Cohesion Advocates programme.

Abramjee will chair the body and will be deputised by Vinolia Mabele and Dr Cresencia Nyathi. Edwin Cleophas was elected Secretary-General, and Dr Balungile Zondi was named the spokesperson.

Cleophas is a social justice activist, and he specialises in matters related to anti-racism, diversity and inclusion, youth empowerment and community development. He is the managing director of the non-profit company The Social Justice Agency.

Dr Cresencia Nyathi is a human rights project coordinator at Africa Unite and an entrepreneur. She holds a PhD in Management Sciences specializing in Peace Building (Durban University of Technology). Her current work and research interests include youth in peace building and conflict resolution.

Vinolia Mabele is a dynamic entrepreneur, actress, multi-award-winning philanthropist and Ms UN International 2019. She is the founder of African Ambassador, a programme which promotes Pan-Africanism amongst youth, and the founder of the young women empowerment programme called Face of Mansi.

Dr Balungile Zondi is a PhD scholar in Anthropology at UKZN. She also specializes in sociology, community development and good governance, as well as in public policy. Dr Zondi is an experienced humanitarian activist, and has 18 years of experience working with communities.

The minister thanked the outgoing steering committee, chaired by Acting Chairperson Ms Xoliswa Bam.


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