As part of the provincial anti-poverty strategy roll out plan, the Gauteng Department of Social Development MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi launched a women agricultural food gardening project at Emmasdal Child and Youth Care Centre in Heidelberg on Wednesday, September 2.

The primary objective of the launch includes among others to streamline women empowerment in agricultural sector, empowering 100% women-owned cooperatives, creation of job opportunities and promote effective and sustainable local economy participation.

The Lesedi Local Municipality is an agricultural region with farmlands and fields in most areas. The project aims to put women in the forefront of creating employment in the sector.

The MEC led the launch with Sedibeng District Mayor Cllr Busi Modisakeng and Lesedi Local Municipality Mayor Cllr Lerato Maloka.

During the ceremony, Mbali Ngwane, presented the purpose of the gardening project saying that the 11 beneficiaries must eventually grow so other residents can get involved.

“Going forward, these members must employ members of the community around the area as they must expand. They must use the opportunities presented to them to grow and not allow people from outside the community to benefit,” she said. Ngwane emphasized that cooperative members must be employers through the project.

Zibuyile Izimbokodo Cooperative and Khethasipho Primary cooperative were some of the local cooperatives who will initially benefit from the food gardening project. Representatives from expressed their gratitude for being selected.

The Emmasdal CYCC is a safe haven for children with conduct disorders  and those in trouble with the law. The centre is operated by the Gauteng Provincial Government.

After the speeches, the delegation of government officials and the cooperatives planted seedlings on a patch in the food garden. The planting ceremony coincides with Arbor Week which is celebrated in the first week of September annually.

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