NEW-LOOK plan to roll back poverty

Anna Majavu and Sapa

Anna Majavu and Sapa

The government yesterday unveiled its anti-poverty strategy, which is aimed at eradicating poverty by creating economic opportunities and enabling communities and individuals to access these.

The discussion document, released by Deputy President Baleka Mbete in Pretoria, says while a social assistance safety net continues to be critical, the government also wants to empower communities and individuals to support themselves.

"We need to strengthen our resolve to reduce poverty and to prevent the reproduction of poverty within households," it says.

Central to this is ending inter-generational poverty through improving households' economic status, said Minister in the Presidency Manto Tshabala-Msimang.

In a departure from its current social grants policy, the government acknowledgesthat people of all ages need financial assistance and details many age groups for which "social assistance" will be extended.

The government also aims to employ one million full-time workers by 2010 on public and community employment programmes. The document also states that 300000 households will be assisted to develop livestock farms and that the tourism industry will be assisted to create 100000 jobs a year in rural areas.