Self-sustenance and food security came into sharp focus this morning as KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka today officially launched the One Home One Garden programme in the Harry Gwala District.
This programme which is convened through the province-wide Operation Sukuma Sakhe initiative is aimed at improving food security in communities through the planting of gardens in each house in the district.
MEC Hlomuka visited the uMzimkhulu local municipality where he visited the household of Mbeko David Mhlongo (60), a pensioner, to assist him in planting his garden.
Hlomuka explained that the objective of the programme is to create self-sustenance in our communities. “In launching this programme, we are aiming for our communities to practice planting and tending gardens within their own homes. This helps in ensuring that we rely less on food bought from shops and more on our own homegrown vegetables,” said Hlomuka.
The second house that was visited by Hlomuka was that of 40-year-old Petros Skhumbuzo Jama who is unemployed but took up small-scale farming as an opportunity to feed himself and his family.
The launch of this programme, which comes with additional support from the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, includes ploughing materials and seeds.
Jama believes that the support he has received through this programme has empowered him to be better able to farm in his small garden.
During the visit, Hlomuka was accompanied by Cllr Zamo Nxumalo – the Mayor of the Harry Gwala District, Inkosi Chiliza – the Chairperson of KZN Provincial House of Traditional Leaders and Cllr Mpabanga – the uMzimkhulu Mayor.
Following the visit to the households, Hlomuka visited the Rietvlei Hospital where he joined the Provincial Legislature-led programme aimed at monitoring health institutions. During his visit there, Hlomuka encouraged nurses and doctors to continue with the good work they are doing in providing care to our communities during a time when the province and country are fighting against the spread of the coronavirus.