Friday, December 11, 2009

Motlanthe to "Eliminate Indigents"

HAT TIP: BLACK COFFEE

The poorest of the poor must expect and demand only the best from the government, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Wednesday.

"We must not provide the lowest, the barest minimum and say it is acceptable because this is a poor community," Motlanthe told civil society and government at a conference on refining the country's anti-poverty strategy.

The anti-poverty strategy aimed to freeze poverty "through universal access to services that eliminate indigents". [maybe he should rephrase that part]

The process towards its development started two years ago and was now reaching its final stages.

Motlanthe said it was important to ensure that civil society and government worked together in alleviating poverty but also cautioned their roles should remain distinct from each other.

He backed a proposal by civil society to establish a council on poverty where government and civil society could streamline their response.

Civil society organisations raised concerns about land redistribution and the way it hampers the development of communities. [and the food supply]

They felt that the willing buyer, willing seller policy adopted by government needed revisiting.

However, Motlanthe said the willing buyer and willing seller policy did not hamper land redistribution as this was only applied by the courts during arbitration.

"It's not a stumbling block upfront in terms of the appropriation of land," he said.

He said that once the World Cup was over, rural development would be the country's next focus.

"The future of development lies in rural communities. The antipoverty strategy will benefit a great deal from our efforts in rural development." [what does that mean exactly?]

Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said the focus for land redistribution would be more on how the land is used. [as opposed to ..... just taking it?]

"I can say we are moving more toward the development of farms that we have acquired," he said. [they were "developed" before you acquired them]

This was in response to questions about the slow pace of land redistribution.

Motlanthe said a lot needed to be done to "consign poverty to the museum of history". [the Museum of History is now full]

Poverty was linked to historical inequalities, unemployment and the subtext of this was "the accumulated effect of land hunger". [land hunger?? maybe they should have their priorities straight]

He said the current situation was a consequence of the transmission of poverty from one generation to the next.

South Africans living in squalor could no longer be "prisoners of history", he said.

Motlanthe urged civil society to work together but cautioned against being absorbed into government.

"Once you get into government bureaucracy they take hold of you," he quipped. [that sounds like a threat. Are we eliminating the indigents or just locking them up? I'm confused...]

The two-day conference would consolidate input from civil society and contribute to government's document on the antipoverty strategy.

Social Development Minister Edna Molewa was also at the conference. [should've maybe have let her write about it]

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