Saturday, June 19, 2010

Masisi - Consultations on poverty to end in July

source: Republic of Botswana (6/6/10) TAUTONA TIMES no 6 of 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"

C4) Masisi - Consultations on poverty to end in July

GABORONE - Government has set July as the deadline to have wrapped up consulting with different stakeholders in devising identifiable and definable steps out of poverty, says Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi. He said in the past, the focus has been on poverty alleviation and reduction.

Mr Masisi, who is the Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, said poverty alleviation and reduction has long been overtaken by events hence the need to focus on poverty eradication.

Mr Masisi was briefing the media and trade unions on poverty eradication in Gaborone yesterday.

While cognisant of the fact that poverty eradication would not be achieved overnight, Mr Masisi said it nonetheless called for radical measures.

He said solutions that would be implemented would by no means be handouts as that would create a dependency syndrome.

Mr Masisi said a delegation would soon visit areas hard hit by poverty as a way of coming up with specifically targeted programmes at all levels.

Poverty eradicating has remained an elusive ideology for many years and there is still some scepticism as to whether this can be achieved. However, Mr Masisi promised Botswana would initially eradicate the severest of poverty in the shortest of time.

He said solutions would be tailor made for different groups within society and it would not be a one size fits all solution.

"As government we realise that the level of poverty for a young person differs with that of an elderly person, and the needs for someone working for government, differ with those of someone working for a parastatal or a private company and the principles of out of poverty must be out of a collective," stated Mr Masisi.

The permanent secretary to the vice president, Dr John Mothibi, said for a long time most government programmes had invariably been focused more on destitute persons.

Also, Botswana had been silent on wealth creation something that some countries had long adopted, he added.

Dr Mothibi observed that 80 per cent of the time when people talk about poverty, they refer to food poverty hence it was for that reason that government came up with the food basket to alleviate lack of food.

That, he said, was an interim measure since government had now come up with the idea of backyard garden which was sustainable.

Trade union members appreciated government's proactive move to consult them on some of its initiative, but advised that they be involved from inception to feel part of the process. BOPA

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