Presidential Affairs Minister, Mokgweetsi Masisi says the government’s Poverty Eradication P rogramme (PEP) has been a success.
Adressing the media this week at the Mass Media complex, Masisi said that of the 45 000 destitute people identified at the launch of the programme in 2009, 15 000 have been enrolled.
“I am pleased to make a pronouncement that we are on track to wipe out abject poverty amongst able bodied destitute persons.
We are also focusing on enrolling the remaining 2030 able bodied destitute persons living in abject poverty this financial year,” he said.
The minister revealed that 1739 backyard garden projects have been completed out of which 1249 are operational. He said 346 of the completed projects were excelling in terms of production.
“They are generating above normal income and the beneficiaries have opened bank accounts to make savings, and some have constructed better accommodation for their families,” he added.
The minister further noted that the roll out of backyard gardens was too slow and that efforts were underway to address implementation challenges.
“A total of 448 projects are non operational and 90% of the non operational projects are due to water related challenges.
A total of 35 projects are reported to have been abandoned or failed due to death or lack of commitment of the beneficiary,” he said.
Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Keletso Rakhudu who had accompanied Masisi for the briefing explained that some of the projects fail due to draught or lack of water.
“We were aware of such challenges when the PE programme was rolled out. Beneficiaries of such packages will however be considered for alternative packages,” he said
About 1 981 projects are said to have been completed under the alternative packages programme.
All of them are said to be operational while 235 have been observed to be excelling.
23 of the projects are regarded to have failed due to lack of commitment and mismanagement by the beneficiaries.
Minister Masisi also revealed that a model for an agro-processing and packaging plant for horticultural produce in Selebi Phikwe has been developed and will be implemented this financial year in partnership with the National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC).
The project is expected to cost P6 million and the plant is expected to be operational in January next year.
Masisi further revealed that a partnership with Anglo America will also focus on transforming some of the micro scale producers into small to medium scale enterprises.
The next Poverty Eradication workshop will be held in the village of Damuchojenaa from August 1st to 3rd.