The poor man feels it

Kabelo Dipholo

Moselewapula’s battle with poverty and unemployment

The last time Baganne Mokgosi had any source of income was in 2013, and for the las 10 years he has been unsure of where his next meal would come from, only managing to keep his sanity by volunteering his services in some community events in Moselewapula ward in Gerald, Francistown.

Despite his predicament Mokgosi has never lost hope, in fact he’s planning to turn his situation around and inspire hundreds of unemployment Moselewapula residents to help turn around the fortunes of their ward.

Moselewapula is made up of mostly families who were relocated from Somerset and squatters from Machimenyenga, Coloured and Kgaphamadi.

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The poverty stricken families were awarded plots to rebuild their lives, almost over two decades ago at Gerald Estate, which has quickly developed into an urban township.

Now with a population of over 10 000 people, schools, including two tertiary, Gerald Estate which is 10 km South West of Francistown is faced with many challenges such as unemployment, teenage pregnancy and crime. According to statistics, Moselewapula ward carries the bulk of these challenges.

Mokgosi, who has lived there since 2013 says if nothing is done urgently efforts by government to give these people a new lease of life by relocating them here will be all in vain.

“There’s absolutely nothing here. Life is just passing us by and it is heartbreaking to watch,” said Mokgosi.

The Business Administration graduate has worked for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), a global non-governmental organisation with the broad aims of promoting sexual and reproductive health, and advocating for the right of individuals to make their own choices in family planning.

“It is the biggest NGO after the Red Cross, and I’ve been to countries like Kenya, Uganda and Indonesia during my time with them,” he said.

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“We all know the history of Moselewapula, we know where the people come from and what they’ve endured. It is now turning into a vicious circle because now their off-springs are enduring the same things their parents did,” Mokgosi said.

He told The Voice in an interview that while there’s talent in the area, and people with business ideas, many don’t even know where to start to access government programmes and initiatives.

We’ve brilliant tailors in the ward, but they don’t know what to do to benefit from the recent ban on importation of school uniforms,” he said.

“Our people need to be upskilled in so many ways, and that is why we are working on a business seminar planned for this March,” he said.

Mokgosi said the Moselewapula Business Seminar Seminar is an initiative that will empower the locals with business opportunities and also create a platform for networking among the residents of Gerald Estates.

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“I know the pain of living in Gerald Estates, and this seminar will be guided by the mini-survey that I did with the aim to empower and un-lock business opportunities for the locals,” he said.

He said they should be able to lobby and advocate for poverty eradication beneficiaries to supply all government institutions within Gerald Estates.

“There’re numerous business opportunities in Gerald such as Day Care Centre, laundry, hardware, restaurant, waste collection, brick molding and many others,” said Mokgosi.

“I’ve been unemployed for over a decade, but my frustration is that unemployment has been politicized. This has to stop because poverty and unemployment in Moselewapula is a reality,” fired Mokgosi.

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