IFP plans to fight poverty

IFP-LED municipalities have launched an intensive rural development and poverty eradication initiative to address the needs of the poor.

The initiative, aimed at rural communities, was unveiled by party' chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi in Vryheid, northern KwaZulu-Natal, yesterday.

The initiative, dubbed "Ukuzakha nokuzenzela integrated rural development", is a joint venture between 33 IFP-led municipalities, businesses and the private sector in the province.

Addressing the gathering, Magwaza-Msibi, pictured, said poverty in South Africa had a strong rural dimension.

She said about 75percent of people living in the rural areas of the country suffered higher unemployment rates, lower literacy levels and lower access to productive resources than the poor in urban areas.

"Within the context of rural development in the country and continent, agriculture is the key sector in terms of achieving household food security, alleviating rural poverty and creating economic prosperity," she said.

Magwaza-Msibi said major constraints continue to be experienced by rural communities.

"These constraints include poor physical infrastructure, poor access to market information, the economic environment and poor extension and rural financial services."

Magwaza-Msibi said there were many opportunities to improve rural economies and the successful implementation would require the cooperation of all stakeholders and coordination of their activities.

"The initiative is in line with self-help and self-reliance which remain key in the IFP understanding of development," she said.

"The initiative will be pro-active and objective driven. Its vision is a country in which social-economic and cultural rights are recognised and respected."

She said the initiative would be linked to the Integrated Development Programmes of the municipalities.

She said it would focus on food security, HIV-Aids, cultural heritage, integrated youth development, and partnerships.

She said the programme was expected to be up and running in October.