Rural people need skills to fight poverty

Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - Eastern Cape MEC for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Zoleka Capa, says the fight against poverty will be realised by aggressively skilling people in the deep rural areas.

Speaking at the pre-launch of the Provincial Textile Co-operative at Tsolo Agriculture and Rural Development Institute, Capa said the skilling of rural people could lead to vibrant and sustainable economic development programmes. 

"Fighting poverty depends on the skilling of people. We will win the battle of underdevelopment by training rural people by taking training to their door steps," she said.

The MEC told the gathering her department had already spent about R2 million to buy top-of-the-range sewing material, while the remaining R3 million would be utilised to train people.

Capa said in the next financial year, she would ensure about R10 million was set aside for this programme.

The MEC stressed that the department "does not want to pilot the project because some pilots end up being just pilots and fail to spread across the province."

The department has engaged a number of Further Education and Training (FET) colleges around the province, which would be used to train people that were already in the textile industry. In turn, they would be able to train others in their respective villages. 

Mpofu Training Centre and Tsolo Agriculture and Rural Development Institute, which are under the auspices of the department and are also in involved in textile training, will also be utilised.

The MEC said she has engaged congregations and traditional authorities to provide space in their buildings so that people can be taught closer to their homes. 

She further said the FET colleges would also help in the recognition of prior learning in individuals already involved in the industry. The Textile Seta would be engaged to ensure quality of the production and training.

The pre-launching of the cooperatives and the training will be rolled out throughout the province this year. 

According to the departmental principal communications officer, Thozi kaManyisana, the MEC's initiative has been widely welcomed as a groundbreaking development by the traditional and religious leaders, councilors and representatives from the FET colleges, including the intended beneficiaries. - BuaNews

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