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'Unemployed youth must help elderly garden'

The City of Cape Town had a dig yesterday at unemployed young people who leave it to elderly people to grow vegetables.

"We've come to realise that many of our food gardens are being kept alive by elderly persons who aren't always capable of the physically demanding tasks that come with such an initiative," said Suzette Little, the mayoral committee member for social development.

"I am completely flabbergasted at the state of affairs, especially given the rate of youth unemployment in many of our communities.

"I challenge our young people to pitch in and to help build their communities by giving their time and effort to these food gardens. It could even sow the seeds for an entrepreneurial opportunity."

The city council's poverty alleviation programme supported 114 food gardens in the last financial year, which either feed locals or produce an income.

"In the current financial year, [we] will provide ongoing support to 12 large-scale gardens. This includes training, but also the provision of equipment including boreholes, nets and even the establishment of nurseries. Some of the challenges that the programme faces include an over-reliance on EPWP (Expanded Public Works Programme) workers, theft and vandalism, insufficient awareness around sustainable food gardening and water scarcity." - TMG Digital

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