Motlanthe satisfied with progress of anti-poverty project

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jacobsdal - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is satisfied with the positive results yielded by government's poverty alleviation project in southern Free State.

On Saturday, Motlanthe visited poverty stricken communities of Donkerhoek and Generations in Jacobsdal to monitor the progress of the anti-poverty campaign launched in the area last year.

The War on Poverty is a nationwide campaign aimed at reducing poverty among the country's poorest citizens.

During his visit in the area, Motlanthe said government's priority was to end poverty in all poverty-stricken communities.

"Young ones must be encouraged to go back to school and acquire the necessary skills that will enable them to make a living for themselves.

"The idea is to lift all our communities," he said, adding that grants were not enough to root out poverty.

During his visit in the area, most beneficiaries said they were happy with the campaign since they were now able to provide food for their families on their own.

As part of the campaign, poor communities were encouraged to grow their own food.

One of the beneficiaries, Sinah Dike, 45, an unemployed mother of two, told BuaNews that the government's programme had taught her to produce food for her family.

"Now I can grow vegetables in my yard, there is no more hunger in my family," she said.

Asked how she feels about the Deputy President's visit to her house, she said: "I'm very happy, I feel special."

In her backyard, Dike grows spinach, cabbages and onions. She also teaches others to grow their own vegetables.

Another community member who benefited from the campaign, Frans Papier, 49, who through the campaign was taught how to grow vegetables in his yard. "I no longer live on handouts, I can now provide food for my family," he said.

Through the campaign, most deprived households identified were visited periodically by a team of professionals and community workers to identify their specific needs, accelerate their access to government services and provide safety nets.

The Deputy President was accompanied by several national ministers, Free State MECs and government officials