by City Of Johannesburg

Joburg in drive against hunger

Campaign fights poverty, unemployment

Joburg has initiated a campaign that will collect seeds in an effort to address food security.
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SA's economic powerhouse, Johannesburg, is launching its Seed Collection campaign today .The launch of the campaign is part of the city hosting the Metropolis Annual Meeting to be held from 16 till 19 July.

The meeting is a gathering of 120 cities from around the world under the theme: Caring Cities.

The meeting serves as the primary network for the world’s largest cities to share information, knowledge and best practices pertaining to  urban issues.

The campaign is therefore one of the ways that the city will contribute to the theme of the meeting.

It is also part of the city’s 'agriculture and food security' programme and a larger food resilience agenda – one of the city’s 10 priorities, aiming to address poverty and inequality by generating employment and sustainable livelihoods.

The mayor of Johannesburg, Mpho Parks Tau says, “Because we care deeply about our city and its people, we formulated the campaign to address food insecurity among the urban poor, and to empower citizens to become self-reliant in producing food.”

Data released by Global Insight in 2008, stated that 21.6% of Johannesburg’s households still lived below the poverty income level and that 42% of poor neighbourhoods struggle daily to get a meal.

“By giving our citizens seeds, garden implements and training, we are  promoting access to nutritional food, which in turn, will fight diseases and uphold overall health of people,” the mayor says.

The Seed Collection campaign reinforces Joburg 2040 'growth and development strategy' (GDS) which builds a collective and shared vision of becoming a vibrant, equitable African city with a resilient and adaptive society.

The campaign is an excellent opportunity for corporate companies to get involved and assist the vulnerable and hungry not to rely of food parcels but to become self-sustaining through the development of food gardens. 

The metropolis meeting will bring mayors, government leaders, experts, international NGOs, and academics under one roof where they will discuss concerns such as food security and resilience, financial sustainability, urban innovation, citizen participation, resource resilience, social cohesion, the informal economy and housing. 

“Joburg strives to offer a high quality of life and provide comfort and dignity for all its citizens,” stresses the mayor, Mpho Parks Tau.

“During the meeting we will address vital issues to address these aspirations,” he says. 

As a world class event destination in Africa, “Joburg is more than ready to host this first of three major international events,” says Tau.

The campaign will run until 31 July.

The seeds will be distributed to disadvantaged households, co-operatives and schools that have vacant spaces to create food gardens.

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