As government strives to ensure that all able bodied destitute and potential destitute step out of poverty, some of the efforts seem to be bearing fruit.
This week some of the beneficiaries of the Poverty Eradication Programme (PEP) attended a press conference addressed by Presidential Affairs Minister, Mokgweetsi Masisi, and shared their experiences, challenges and successes.
INNOCENT TSHUKUDU had a chat with them to find out how they make ends meet.
Cosmos Kolobeng, a 25-year-old tuck-shop operator from Old-Naledi says the poverty eradication package has changed his life for the better.
“I used to run a barber-shop but business was not good at all and I eventually closed shop. Life became even more difficult as I did not have any source of income.
In March this year I was given a tuck-shop through the PEP and my life has since changed.
I have become a businessman and I am getting a lot of support from my customers. On a good day I make at least P500 and I intend to open a savings account soon.
Boitsepo Tshukudu, 27, together with four other business partners from Gabane started off as individual bread vendors but have now merged and acquired funding from Gender Affairs.
“We started off baking bread from our respective homes in Gabane and selling it at various industrial areas in Gaborone.
It was basically a hand to mouth kind of business as we could not afford to make any saving. We later followed the advice of some politicians in our area and together we made a business proposal and approached Gender Affairs.
They were happy to help us and we were funded to the tune of P246 996.
Ever since then we haven’t looked back and the bakery business is booming We make around P10, 800 on a good month.
Selinah Gaofiwe, 46, started her forestry business in 2011.
It all started off as a hobby but later she decided to turn the passion into a business venture.
“I loved growing different types of trees and I used chibuku cartons which I filled up with soil and planted the seeds.
I met the Forestry Department through PEP and they trained me together with other beneficiaries.
We learnt the modern tree planting methods and the commercial aspects of horticulture.
I make a profit of at least P1000 and I can afford to take care of my family and there are good prospects of growing the business.
For Neo Pearl Motlhoki, 40, however the story is a bit depressing. Her backyard gardening project in Ramotswa is among those considered to have failed after her water supply was disconnected.
“My water supply was disconnected two -years ago due to a huge bill.
I’ve just been reconnected following a charitable assistance from some good Samaritans and I have re-started the project.