Farmworkers get it write

Michael Sakuneka

Michael Sakuneka

Life will never be the same for hundreds of farm workers in and around Tzaneen following an introduction of a literacy programme, Kha ri gude.

Kha ri gude (a Tshivenda word meaning let's learn) literacy programme was introduced by the department of education to eradicate illiteracy and improve communication between workers and their employers.

It also benefits people in rural areas who never had basic education because of poverty.

It has brought to an end a tendency in which illiterate people end up being humiliated by people who they ask to read documents for them.

The project was introduced about three months ago and has already shown progress in changing the lives of illiterate people as well as farm workers who previously could not read or write.

The project supervisor in the Tzaneen and Maruleng municipal area, Levis Komane, said there had been a dramatic improvement in older people's abilities.

They were now able to attach signatures to important documents themselves instead of placing a cross.

Komane said that at first the programme could not get support from the community, especially farm workers. But that had changed.

"We have made an agreement with farmers to give their workers some time off at night or on weekends so that they can attend classes to improve their lives," he said.

Thomson Maluleke, an elderly learner who is a beneficiary of the literacy programme, said he is happy because he can now do things by himself.