Extend develoment to poorest - minister

2012-09-11 17:18
Women, Children and People with Disability Minister Lulu Xingwana (GCIS)

Women, Children and People with Disability Minister Lulu Xingwana (GCIS)

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Johannesburg - Childhood development projects should be extended to the poorest provinces, said Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana on Tuesday.

"Development of the Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces should be also prioritised," she said.

"Women and children are suffering in those areas."

She was speaking at the launch of an early childhood development project headed by resource company BHP Billiton in collaboration with international non-profit organisation Path, at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg.

The company has donated R200m for a five-year initiative towards transforming early childhood development in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Maputo and Mozambique.

The project would concentrate on improving health care services for newborns and children up until the age of two years.

It aims to decrease child and maternal mortality.

Xingwana hailed the initiative and encouraged other private companies to follow suit.

"Social investment is a very critical element of creating a sustainable economy and progressive social development," she said.

Margot Davids of the department of social development said the first 1 000 days of life determined every child's future development.

"Giving a child a good start is one of the best gifts that government can give."

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