BuaNews, 22 November 2002, Eastern Cape to Benefit From UK Visit

The lives of people in the Eastern Cape are set to improve when the United Kingdom (UK) mission visits the province from today until 30 November to strengthen links with the province.

British High Commissioner Ann Grant leads the UK mission to the province, to meet and share views with the provincial leadership, business, academics, traditional leaders and other organisations involved with development.

A statement said the major objective would be to assess challenges facing the Eastern Cape region and to identify partnerships to improve people's lives.

Ms Grant will launch the British Department of International Development's (DFID) Eastern Cape Programme, which will focus on rural development, public service transformation, social development needs and HIV/AIDS.

'The programme is an important component for DFID's recently launched regional development strategy that will see more than R590-million spent on development initiatives in South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland in each of the next five years,' said the statement.

This development strategy is set to support the delivery of education, health and water services to poorer areas also give greater priority to HIV/AIDS, job creation and growth, as well to regional issues such as conflict, trade and food security, in future.