Deputy President says government is colour blind in fighting poverty
19 Aug 2010
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said colour is not the determining factor in fighting poverty in South Africa.
Responding to a question in the National Assembly on 19 August 2010, The Deputy President said, amongst others, the War on Poverty campaign uses Statistics South Africa's instruments to identify the poorest wards, including white communities.
"Government attends to the needs of all its citizens regardless of their race. Poor white people are as much entitled to government services as any other racial group of our rainbow nation," Deputy President Motlanthe said.
The question from the Freedom Front Plus to the Deputy President wanted a government's response on whether it "has taken steps to help the growing number of poor white people."
The Deputy President explained that "The way the War on Poverty works is that the poorest wards in our country have been identified using Statistics South Africa's Provincial Poverty index."
He further submitted that "Since the unit of intervention is the household, every household and family that lives in these targeted poor wards across South Africa is thus eligible for all government service delivery interventions irrespective of race, religion, social or political persuasion."
The Deputy President reminded the house that basic services are a constitutional right and the War on Poverty uses a needs-based approach to service delivery coordination.
"Government actively discourages a return to the old dispensation where skin colour was the sole determinant of access to social services and the quality thereof," he contended.
The Deputy President also said that "Our efforts in this regard will not be driven by considerations of race, colour or creed. It is therefore important that the fight to eradicate poverty becomes not just a government fight. It should be a fight that South Africans from all walks of life collectively join together to wage and win."
Issued by: The Presidency
19 Aug 2010
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