Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2754

Full Length Research Paper

Assessment of challenges facing poverty alleviation projects in Vhembe District of Limpopo Province in South Africa

M. Tshitangoni*, A. Okorie and J. Francis
Centre for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation, School of Agriculture, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 04 June 2010
  •  Published: 04 September 2010


This paper presents findings of a study that assessed the challenges facing 30 stratified random sampled poverty alleviation projects (community gardens, poultry, piggery, bakery and other projects, including juice making, brick making, stone crushing and coffin making) in Vhembe District of Limpopo Province in South Africa. A structured questionnaire was administered to 108 randomly selected beneficiaries of the 30 poverty alleviation projects (PAPs) in Makhado (n = 11), Musina (n = 2), Mutale (n = 4) and Thulamela (n = 13) Municipalities which constitute Vhembe District. Members of project management and ordinary project members served as the respondents. The data was coded, processed and analyzed using the microsoft excel program. Cross-tabulations and frequencies were computed. The challenges facing the PAPs were many and disaggregated as inception-based and operation-based. Inception-based challenges included lack of training and skills relevant to the projects (90% of respondents); lack of funds (80%); provision of more funding than required to start the projects (70%); inappropriate methods of establishing projects (57%); high levels of illiteracy among project beneficiaries (63%); lack of water (53 %); lack of equipment (47%); lack of infrastructure (37%); and fraudulent use of project funds (33%). Very poor or no record keeping (70%); unavailability of market for products (60%); lack of  access road and signage to projects (23%); lack of security (23%); inadequate technical support from Chief Agricultural Technicians (13%); and poor commitment of project members (10%) were the operation-based challenges. Nine (9) of the challenges cut across all the classes of projects. The results obtained in this study highlighted the fact that numerous challenges limited the performance of the PAPs. Therefore, the need for developing a comprehensive strategy that can effectively address these challenges cannot be questioned.


Key words: Poverty, alleviation, project beneficiary, challenges.