In the last financial year, the City’s poverty alleviation programme helped 114 food gardens; 86 of which were community gardens and 28 gardens run at City-owned early childhood development centres.
Included is the Scottsdene Youth Centre, part of a project to set up bigger food gardens to produce vegetables and improve sustainability.
According to the City, these gardens can support greater numbers from the community and generate income from the sale of produce.
There are plans to provide training in vegetable gardening for the communities at 12 locations and also to supply boreholes, nets and nurseries.
“Food security continues to be an issue that plagues many households in our country,” said Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development
“Recently, we’ve heard that food prices are going through the roof, making even the most basic necessities unaffordable to the poor. All the more reason why we should plough even more resources into food gardens in our most vulnerable communities to help eliminate hunger and the desperate circumstances that so many people face.”
In the next financial year the City plans to spending R3.12 million through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) on the project.
“I challenge our young people to pitch in and to help build their communities by giving their time and effort to these food gardens. As we saw with the YouthStart challenge earlier this year, it could even sow the seeds for an entrepreneurial opportunity,” said Ms Little.
To this end, the City will start recruiting people to play a role in their local food gardens, link gardens to local markets, promote and support the establishment of nurseries and provide training on responsible water use, for example the re-use of grey water.