'Speed up pro-poor activities'

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has called for an urgent revamp of the country's pro-poor policies.

Writing in his weekly newsletter, Buthelezi said the need for fresh policies was a clear message that came out of the December ANC policy conference in Polokwane.

"The recent ANC conference in Polokwane focused unashamedly on the plight of the poor with an implication that the issue had been neglected by the previous top management of the party and the country.

"With the advent of 2008, the challenges posed by poverty naturally take the driver's seat across the whole political spectrum," said Buthelezi.

He said the IFP would use every opportunity to start introducing new measures to counter poverty levels at local government level.

He said his call also coincides with the despicable sight of mayors and municipal managers of many rural municipalities with low revenue basis, driving expensive SUVs that could feed scores of impoverished children who head entire families.

He said his party subscribes to the current definition used by the Civil Society Partnership Programme that "the aim of pro-poor policies is to improve the assets and capabilities of the poor".

He said pro-poor policy processes should be those that allow poor people to be directly involved in the policy process, or that by their nature and structure lead to pro-poor outcomes.