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Rural development- Gauteng puts more punch into fighting poverty

Gauteng puts more punch into fighting poverty

Melitah Madiba

Photo caption: Emerging farmers who have demonstrated that they can run profitable businesses will benefit from the Gauteng government’s mentorship programme.

 

More than 300 farmers who have shown that they are committed to run their farms successfully, are set to benefit from a mentorship programme started by the Gauteng Provincial Government.

This follows intensified efforts by the provincial government to alleviate poverty and ensuring that Gauteng residents continue to have sustainable livelihoods.

Delivering her State of the Province address, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the province was committed to strengthening food security and eliminating hunger through skills development and empowerment.

 

Food gardens

“It is our responsibility as the provincial government to provide a social safety net to the most vulnerable members of our society,” Mokonyane said.

She added that projects to provide a social safety net would be complemented by efforts to reduce dependency on the social grant system. “We will facilitate the movement of at least 1 200 recipients from the Child Support Grant system by creating access to jobs or business opportunities.”

The province also aims to help more than 40 000 households to grow their own food gardens by 2014. This will be in addition to more than 2 000 families that have already been assisted.

Mapping the road ahead, Mokonyane announced

that the province, in partnership with the national government and Mogale City, has commissioned the West Rand Agricultural Training College to facilitate skills development and specialised training and has set aside a budget of R36 million for this purpose.

 

“It is our responsibility as the provincial government to provide a social safety net to the most vulnerable members of our society. – Nomvula Mokonyane”

 

Export up

Reflecting on progress made so far, the Premier said that the Super Grand Feed Milling Plant in Bronkhorstspruit is exporting animal feed to Zimbabwe and had created both permanent and seasonal jobs. This is thanks to the provincial government’s assistance with farming and milling equipment.

Another flagship project, Thala Herbs in Mogale City, received assistance to build a new processing facility and is now exporting herbs to Mozambique and Swaziland.

The province has also facilitated the empowerment of more than 50 farm workers who benefited from a 51 per cent equity stake in the Bambanani Fruits Co-operative in Westonaria. “This co-operative exports processed herbs to Spain and it is also one of the major suppliers to the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market,” Mokonyane said.

 

For more information call Gauteng Provincial Government on: 011 355 6000