Assessment of budget allocation and funding of community food security projects in Emfuleni Local Municipality
Mofokeng, Welhemina Nthabiseng
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The study was prompted by the fact that regardless of the developmental determinations of the South African government, the country is still faced with high levels of poverty and unemployment. Despite the two challenges being at the fore front for policy makers in the country, civil society members are partaking in alternative and sustainable solutions to poverty reduction which has led to establishment of community food security projects. Considering the fact that agriculture is one of the growing contributors to the country’s economy, these community food security projects are able to promote agriculture and also create employment and revenue for local communities. Proper and adequate funding to these poverty reduction strategies ensures that the projects succeed and meet their intended objectives and goals. Funding makes it possible for the projects to be genuinely pro-poor, to promote pro-poor growth and improving the quality of the lives of the poor. Public funds need to be effectively, efficiently and economically utilised for the best interest of the poor. It is important for government to budget for developmental and sustainable initiatives, public expenditure needs to be properly managed. In an attempt to realise the research problem, the researcher formulated two sets of semi-structured questionnaires; one for the budget officer at GDARD and one for the participants of the community food security projects in the six peri-urban townships of Emfuleni Local Municipality. The community food security projects were selected from the following townships, namely: Bophelong, Evaton, Sebokeng and Sharpeville. This was in an attempt to assess the contribution of communities in their own food security and the impact of the projects on the whole community not just on the participants of the projects. The results from the questionnaire were interpreted and it is evident that GDARD plays a pivotal role in the establishment and sustainability of these projects. The results also showed that despite the issues raised by participants, they were however grateful to the department and hopeful for the future. The study has established that food gardens have a role to play in the extensive fight against hunger and in improving household food security and ultimately, in creating income generation or providing employment opportunities. The study recommends for increased participatory budgeting process to enhance involvement of community members.
- Humanities