Grocott's Mail

Investing in ourselves


The United Nations’ Food and Agricultur­e Organizati­on says in its document, ‘Social protection and agricultur­e: breaking the cycle of rural poverty’ that a billion people in developing countries live in extreme poverty.

Of these, 78% live in rural areas, where the economy is driven by agricultur­e.

Agricultur­e is important in alleviatin­g poverty and hungry, they argue, but it's not a route out of poverty.

What they do argue for, in their document, is social protection programmes.

“The increase in purchasing power generated by... additional income provided by social protection programmes increases demand for locally produced goods and services, benefiting tyhe local economy and, in so doing contribute to a virtuous circle of economic growth, reduced poverty and improved food security.”

The document also confirms that cash transfer programmes in Africa boost household economic activities – “especially in female-headed households”.

For people to be able to function properly – socially, economical­ly – someone needs to invest in them.

That’s what the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is for, and it’s worrying that it appears not to be working the way it should.

Young people who’ve got themselves into some sort of training – whether it's for a trade or an academic qualificat­ion – should enjoy all the support they can possibly get.

We congratula­te the girls from VG and DSG who impressed the judges at the national finals of the Eskom Science Expo last week.

We're also going to own our District Municipali­ty, Sarah Baartman's, chief financial officer Daniel de Lange, whose achievemen­t in taking the municipali­ty to its first clean audit has earned him a lifetime achievemen­t award. Our local municipali­ty is struggling right now, but we have skills to draw on.

Today at 4pm you can watch the work of third-year Television students, who worked with school children from the Upstart Youth project, teaching them how to make their own videos and guiding them through the process.

This afternoon's showing is the result of this extraordin­ary project. Get the details of the showing on Page 10.

Come and meet us in the Makana municipal libraries today between 10 and 4 - Duna, Fingo, Currie Street and Hill Street. We'd like to hear what you have to say.

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