By Emily Setona
QWAQWA – The Speaker of the Free State Legislature Ntombiezanela Sifuba lived up to a previous promise when she donated farming equipment to the communities of Tsheseng and Mangaung villages during her outreach programme on August 12.
The donations came as a response to the request made by communities to the Speaker during her visit on July 6, 2022, when she addressed the community of Qwaqwa at Charles Mopeli Staduim during her community outreach programme in the community of Maluti-a-Phofung (MAP). It was during this visit that she promised to come back to assist some of the people who had asked for her help.
“The reason why I am back here today is because the last time I was here the farming community asked me for tools and seeds. I was so happy to hear people asking for farming equipment and seeds instead of food parcels. That is why I had to quickly come back and keep my promise because food security is a huge priority for my office,” Sifuba said.
At the same occasion, Emily Mhlamba of the Parliament Constituency Office said she had the responsibility of contacting the people who had requested the Speaker for help to make sure that their requests were met.
One of the beneficiaries, Manana Molefe, has a huge backyard garden and has devoted most of her land to planting vegetables.
“My husband and I started planting vegetables to help feed our family but as soon as our neighbours started to ask us for our produce we saw it as an opportunity to sell and make some money. When the Speaker was at Charles Mopeli Stadium I was brave enough to ask for her assistance, because seeds are very expensive. I am very happy to be receiving the tools and seeds that I asked for,” Molefe said.
Another farmer, Teboho Mlangeni, had this to say: “During the speaker’s last visit I mentioned that there was a piece of unused land that I wanted to utilise for a communal vegetable garden that would help keep unemployed youth busy, given that most of them turn to drugs because they have nothing to do.”
Through efforts by her office, upon finding out that the land that Mlangeni in question was owned by the department of agriculture and rural development, Sifuba invited MEC Nxangisa on her next visit to MAP.
“I am deeply honoured to be part of this initiative because food security is a very important issue during this time. As the department of agriculture it is our duty to help our people with issues related to farming and land. So, when the Speaker instructed me to join her on this visit, I couldn’t say no,” Nxangisa said.