Finance MEC Gadija Brown last week visited Xhariep District Municipality to lend her support to projects being undertaken in the area to fight poverty and ensure food security.
Brown’s visit was part of the annual Nelson Mandela Month commemorations and the famous 67 Minutes of selfless good deeds campaign.
The MEC who was accompanied by officials from her department was shown the unconventional methods used to plant different ground produce by local farmer, Thabo Olivier, who runs a sustainable food security project in the area.
In an endeavour to encourage communities to plant their own vegetables in their backyards instead of relying on buying, the MEC distributed seedlings to a number of identified families.
“With food security in our backyards we can be free from poverty and get financial freedom” said Brown, calling on young people to emulate the late liberation struggle icon Nelson Mandela.
She noted Mandela was a strong leader whom young people should aspire to live like, adding the current Covid-19 pandemic calls on South Africans to use Mandela Month to do adhere to national lockdown regulations.
“Covid-19 has exacerbated the exclusion of women and youth from the economy. I’m talking about youth and women because they have a big drive to enforce the radical change we need to see in our times,” she said.
Brown also noted women are pillars of any society and praised them for their proven strength in holding families together. “They have the strength to hold families together. With youth and women working together, we can have a harmonious structural change in our country.”
The MEC pledged to return to the area later to witness the progress of the backyard gardening project.
During her visit Brown also took time to engage with the elderly in the area during which a cake symbolising Mandela’s birthday celebration was shared amongst those present.
She further handed out blankets to the elderly to ward off the cold winter and hand sanitizers to help fight the spread of Covid-19.