Chairperson’s Report AGM 2017


I am pleased to be able to report that the past year has been a much happier year for Empilweni than the previous one.

Among the reasons for this were the receipt of a much delayed grant from the National Lotteries, the appointment of our new Director William Williams, and the expansion of our Board.

The receipt of the Lotto funding meant that we not only had secured funding for another 18 months, but we could make overdue improvements to the staff's remuneration package. We have also been able to employ a receptionist/administrative assistant, Alicia Vana, who has proved to be a great asset, and very recently we have purchased a much needed car.

Our previous Director, Melinda Bechus, resigned at the end of February this year, and we were most fortunate in being able to find and appoint William Williams to start on 1st April. William has had a lot of NGO and community experience and we are privileged to have him lead our organisation into better times.

At the end of last year we welcomed two new Board members, Gava Kassiem, and David Draude. Both have a wealth of experience relevant to Empilweni's mission, and best of all, they are both highly committed. They work closely with our Director on the Fundraising Committee, and David is Board Secretary. I would like to thank all the Board members for their hard work and support over the past year, and for their attendance at our four Board meetings and our Strategic Planning event. In particular I would like to thank Thulane, the Vice-Chairperson, for standing in for me during my absences overseas.

Other developments during the past year include welcoming Andiswa back as our third Social Auxiliary Worker, securing a 5 year rental lease for our premises from our landlady, and holding a successful 2 day Strategic Planning event at the beginning of the year. This 3 year Strategic Planning event enabled us to re-focus and re-prioritse our aims and objectives, some of which had had to be dropped during the last couple of years due to funding and staffing constraints. Last but not least, we were able to secure another year's contract with our main funding partner, the Department of Social Development, without whose support we would not be able to provide the service that we do provide.

Sadly we have to say goodbye to two people today: our Treasurer, Warren Daly, and our Social Worker, Thembela, but I will say more about that later.

In closing, I would like to thank all our staff for another year of excellent service provision to the community. Our Team, consisting of our Director, Service Manager, Clinical Supervisor, Social Worker, Auxiliary Social Workers and Receptionist deserve a round of applause for applying their ever increasing skills with great dedication under often very difficult circumstances. Thank you also to Trinity Bookkeepers, in particular Melanie, for a great support and always being there when we need you.

Last but not least I would like to thank our donors, large and small, for their support in the 2016/2017 year without which Empilweni could not continue to offer it's unique and valuable service to the children of Khayelitsha and Mfuleni. Special thanks is due to our major funder and partner, the Department of Social Development. And in closing, I would like to express appreciation for the support we receive from the local community - from our clients and their families, from our partner NGO's, and from the various service providers we depend upon. The details of donors will be provided later on in this meeting.

Thank you for coming today and showing your support for Empilweni.

Brian Robertson


18th October 2017