Interchurch Local Developlment Agency

Interchurch Local Development Agency was started by the late Molly Blackburn, Bishop Michael Coleman (Catholic Church), Judy Charlmers and other community leaders. The organization was started as a direct response to the 21 March 1985, Uitenhage massacre. The community was concerned with their dead and missing relatives as a result of the massacre meted to them by the forces of the then apartheid government. The main objective of the organization then was to obtain legal assistance to represent those arrested, offer support to families who were looking for missing relatives and to prepare for the mass funeral of those who passed on. This in many respect informed their programs and activities to date, i.e. providing access to justice to members of their community including refugees and migrants who have settled within the community. Their vision is to be a vibrant organization that operates in Uitenhage and surrounding areas with an intent to advocate against human rights violation by advising, mediating, educating and lobbying relevant chapter nine institutions and stakeholders so that citizens can have access to their rights. ILDA was first funded by SCAT in 1995 and currently receiving funding from SCAT and MAGI. 

Governance and management

ILDA is governed and managed by a management committee of 5 members made up of a Chairperson, Secretary, Vice Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Treasurer and an additional member. Their staff complement consists of 3 staff members and 1 volunteer. Ms Nobuzwe Mofokeng is the organizations director assisted by a Legal practitioner, an administrator and a volunteer paralegal. 

Main activities of the LDA

The main activities of the organization are:

  • Access to Justice
  • Women Empowerment and gender related issues
  • Children’s rights
  • Farm workers and dwellers rights programs
  • Making all voice count (SASSA) (partnering with Black Sash)
  • Rapid Response (partnering with PCRD)

 

Highlights, achievements, innovative projects

  • ILDA was very active in the Truth and Reconciliation process to bring healing and restoration to the victims of apartheid as well as the reparation process.
  • They are champions of the Asset Based Community Development approach in the Eastern Cape and have capacitated other CBOs and communities in the province to implement the approach in the development projects and programs.
  • Co-facilitated in capacity building workshops organized b the SCAT Field worker in the Eastern Cape.
  •  Very instrumental in empowering farm workers their rights in terms of the sectoral determination of the farm workers.
  • Participated in referring social grants cases when there was a class action case against the Department of Welfare to pay back the grants owned to their clients.
  • ILDA also played an important role in the fight against xenophobia in Uitenhage and the surrounding areas.
  • ILDA is a voice of the paralegals provincial and nationally and through their engagement tremendous progress have been made with regards to the status of the advice offices. 
  • Ms Mofokeng is also on the leadership structure of the newly formed Alliance of Community Advice Offices of SA (ACAOSA).