Pretoria – Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini says sharing experiences with Brazil will help South Africa deal with the challenge of hunger.
Speaking at a bilateral meeting with the Brazilian Deputy Minister of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger in Brazil, Romulo Paes de Soussa, on Tuesday, Dlamini said: “We are … happy that beyond promoting cooperation on economic issues, Brazil offered to cooperate with South Africa on social development issues, especially in the fight against hunger.”
The bilateral meeting between the two countries was expected to focus on Brazil’s experiences of the last 10 years in eradicating poverty and inequality and Zero Hunger, which will outline productive inclusion and approaches in the rural and urban areas.
In recent years, Brazil has surprised the world by taking 28 million citizens out of poverty and moving 36 million people to middle class.
Dlamini said it was important for the two countries to strengthen South-South relations by sharing experiences with the view of finding solutions to the challenges they face.
“We have no doubt that your experiences in the fight against hunger will be beneficial to us,” she said.
According to Dlamini, in 2010, South Africa and Brazil signed two Memoranda of Understanding on social security development.
“Through our visits to your beautiful country, we have come to notice that you have made the fight against poverty a priority and an essential step in the development of Brazil. We are eager to learn about your comprehensive national poverty alleviation plan and your successful Zero Hunger programme,” Dlamini said.
In a bid to address poverty, the South African government has introduced the grant system to the needy.
Social Development Director General Vusi Madonsela, who also attended the event, said decisive intervention was needed to address hunger.
“South Africa needs to improve on the current systems. We need to ensure that all those who qualify for social assistance access it,” he said.
The Brazilian delegation said they were willing to share their experiences with South Africa.
Through a poverty alleviation plan called Brasil Sem Misera, Brazil intends to lift a further 16.2 million Brazilians out of extreme poverty through cash transfers initiatives, increased access to education, health, welfare, sanitation, electricity and productive inclusion. An additional 800 000 families and 1.3 million children will be added to the Bolsa Familia programme.
Source: BuaNews – 10 April 2012