Anti-poverty council gets Motlanthe's nod

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pretoria - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has expressed support for a proposal by civil society to establish a National Council on Poverty.

The council would co-ordinate anti-poverty efforts between government and non-state organisations, design strategies and frameworks to meet the agreed anti-poverty targets by 2014.

It would also focus on society's participation in the implementation of poverty programmes.

"If (poverty) is to be taken head-on we need the right kind of structures to co-ordinate that effort and it's for that reason that I think it's a good idea," he said.

Motlanthe has wrapped up a two-day anti-poverty roundtable discussion aimed at obtaining input from different stakeholders, including government, civil society, labour and business on the National Anti-Poverty Strategy.

Speaking at the indaba, Motlanthe promised a co-ordinated government engagement with civil society down to local government level in order to deal with the immediate challenges that people on the ground face.

He said poverty was linked to unemployment and inequality and therefore a proper structure was required to defeat the scourge.

The future of development lied in rural communities. "The anti-poverty strategy will benefit a great deal from our efforts in rural development."

Motlanthe said rooting out crime and corruption was also key as it hampered progress.

"We have to allocate huge resources to chase after criminals and once you apprehend them, you have to feed them."

The strategy would be tabled at the Cabinet Lekgotla in February, after further consultation with civil society.