The Land Claims Process is about the reconstruction of the homeland system and it promotes tribalism. The government neglects the Khoi and the San, and their language is still not recognised amongst our languages. They have been abused to give legitimacy to a bad colonial policy, one that threatens to return us to the Difaqane.
The land question is a national question. It is about remaking a nation - a new way of colonial division, apartheid discrimination and capitalist exploitation. You are taking us backwards instead of marching us forward, hon Minister.
Another bad policy is the strengthening of the relative rights of people working the land. Minister, this is a policy to evict the remaining blacks from their land. You have given the white farmers a year to complete land dispossession that started in 1652.
Please, do not tell us about the lawyers you have hired to stop the evictions. We all know that there are no lawyers that can stop evictions from the farms. They couldn’t prevent more than a million evictions since 1994. The so-called 50% of share equity scheme is not about giving land to our people. Your own research has shown that equity schemes don’t work. Let’s stop the charade! Stop this process! Stop it!
Land is too important to be reduced to a political football by the politicians. Clearly, the ruling party is playing the rhetorical games to sound radical, to avoid doing radical land redistribution, as proposed by the EFF.
In conclusion, our people want their land back, and they want it now! And, we won’t buy our land back! Twenty years is enough! Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister Nkwinti and Deputy Minister, hon Minister of Agriculture and the Deputy Minister, colleagues ... Inkatha ihlala iyinhle nje! [... the IFP is always good!]
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has recently reopened land claims in order to rectify its shortcomings of the past. Therefore, to us as the IFP, this matter is given direction in respect of rectifying the wrongs of the past. However, the next five years will tell if the matter will be handled differently from what has taken place for the past 15 years.
We also hope that the department will open offices, especially mobile ones, in our most rural areas as well, so the there will be easy access to land claim application forms. Be that as it may, land issues are important issues. Almost every black person in this country has been affected directly or indirectly by the issue of land.
Though it is tasked with rural development, the residents in rural areas do not want their areas to be urbanised; they just need assistance in ensuring that they can sustain themselves. Our poor and most vulnerable, the majority of whom reside in our communities, continue to live in conditions that are unfit for them. They have no electricity; they have to walk long distances to fetch water from the rivers, and live in dwellings that are largely unsafe and should, in fact, be condemned.
The departmental planning and implementation in terms of rural development remains weak. We will support efforts geared toward the revitalisation of the agriculture industry to give rise to job creation, poverty eradication, hunger alleviation, nation-building, and social cohesion. The department is strategically well-positioned to be a worthy vehicle in which we can travel to get self-sustaining communities.
The agriculture departments in the provinces are failing the rural communities, hon Minister. The structure of the department gives the impression that it does not care. Very little assistance goes to rural communities. The provision of tractors and other farming equipment, tools and hardware to promote successful subsistence farming practices within rural areas in order to ensure food security is not taking place properly.
Either no personnel are provided to assist rural farmers in implementing advanced farming mechanisms or those that are provided are not fully serving the communities. Fields are not fenced and so farmers’ fields double as land and also as grazing, which defeats the purpose of farming entirely.
This department must not go to rural areas just for votes or to host an event. The IFP believes in the philosophy of self-help and self-reliance, and the rural communities must be assisted to stand on their own two feet. The department must also assist emerging farmers with further training and access to farm equipment.
We further believe that the introduction of agricultural subjects in schools must be given strong emphasis. Obligatory subjects must be introduced in schools, vocational training must be increased and agricultural vocation must be expanded in all schools in the country. Lastly, hon Ministers ...
... siyacela nje ukuthi ukuze lezi zindaba zemihlaba zizwakale kahle emakhaya sondelani eduze kwamakhosi uma nikhuluma izindaba zomhlaba. Amakhosi angama-custodian omhlaba ngakho-ke kuyaqhatha uma amakhosi ezosala eceleni bese kuqhamuka abanye abantu sebehamba phambili ezindabeni zomhlaba. Kanti uma ningasondelana namakhosi, hhawu niyobona kuyohamba kahle. Ngiyathokoza, Sihlalo ohloniphekile. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.) [... we request that in order for the people from the areas to understand these land issues well they need to work together with the chiefs when they speak about these issues. The chiefs are the custodians of land, therefore, it creates a feeling that they’re being undermined if they are sidelined and somebody else is seen to be in the forefront as far as land issues are concerned. But, everything would come together nicely if you could work with the chiefs. Thank you, hon Chairperson.]
Ms F MAZIBUKO (Gauteng): Chair, let me acknowledge all the leadership of the institution, let me acknowledge the Ministers and Deputy Ministers who are here, hon members and MECs who are also present, good morning to all of you.
Thank you very much for affording us an opportunity to participate in today’s debate of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Rural Development and Land Reform. We are humbled since it affords us an opportunity to share our vision for creating vibrant, equitable and sustainable communities, provision of food security for all and land care in Gauteng.
We want to share with you how the Gauteng province, through urban agriculture, will unlock the full potential that agriculture and rural development have to enhance the economic and social wealth of all our people in Gauteng.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have indeed embraced a democratic order that has commissioned our resolve to build a nation, eradicate poverty, and create a better life for all our people. We thus commit to this agenda, through our skills, our capacity and resources and a caring humaneness that will ensure that no citizen in Gauteng goes to bed hungry regardless of race, gender, socio-political preference or background. We have declared war on poverty. As we say in Sesotho ... Tlala e ... e fedile. [Ditsheho.] [Hunger is ... is no more. [Laughter.]] I am honoured to participate in this budget. I did not want to be called to order, hon Chair. I am honoured to participate in this Budget Vote, because I do so sure that, as Gauteng, we also derived the mandate from our manifesto
, that identifies rural development, land reform and food security amongst its five-year priority programmes. With this in mind, we are sure that all of us will be able to do as we’ve been instructed by the President, the Ministers and our Premier of Gauteng.
It is for this reason that our department has adopted a social-activist mentality that should characterise every employee and citizen, particularly if we aim to reverse the devastation of the Natives Land Act of 1913 and its apartheid relatives and the effects of former days.
In the same vein, we are reviewing our operations towards implementation of the development-oriented approach by seeking to effectively expose and utilise the human potential that lies in our communities while we are on course to eradicate dependence on the government.
In order to comprehend our value proposition, it is important to acknowledge the challenges and opportunities that characterise the Gauteng province in its contribution to the overall wellbeing of our country. Let’s refresh our memories. Gauteng is over-populated, yet small in size of land and records a high incidence of unemployment.
Our outputs in Gauteng are that Gauteng is the economic hub of Southern and sub-Saharan Africa, which contributes 10% towards continental gross domestic product, GDP; it is the major hub of agribusiness in South Africa and plays a key role in national food security and contributes almost 0,5% of primary agriculture to the GDP. We also contribute to the value chain of secondary and tertiary tiers of GDP. Despite its high levels of urbanisation, Gauteng has 1,393,353 million hectares of land, including smallholdings, mostly in the rural and peri-urban areas of Gauteng, and it is home to almost 4% of the total population of those who are farming.
On the one hand, challenges in agricultural and rural development in Gauteng include increasing food insecurity at household level and increasing risk of animal diseases.
In the allocated budget that has been mentioned by the Ministers, our focus will be more on farmer support and development. As the department, we will continue to provide all those who are starter farmers with infrastructure and we will also make sure that we assist them to be able to participate in the broader economy by making sure that we provide all those smallholder farmers with infrastructure and inputs and make sure that they also participate as commercial farmers.
Smallholder farmers will also be assisted by extension officers, who will be our foot soldiers and will offer advice and other services to help farmers to be successful and to produce quality and nutritious food. Our food security programme is meant to facilitate affordable and diverse food through the delivery of agricultural products at communal and household level. In the coming years, we will be making sure that we develop homestead gardens, school gardens, community gardens and food security awareness campaigns. Our motto in Gauteng is, “One household, one food garden” and will encourage domestic production of food as opposed to illegal mushrooming of backyard and unsustainable dwellings.
Further to that, we will make sure that through our Gauteng Urban Agriculture Plan, we will pursue the National Development Plan’s Fetsa Tlala project so that more people have access to food.
Through our Aquaculture Strategy and Aquaculture Action Plan, we will be targeting
500 young people and 500 women in this coming financial year who will assist in producing specialised farmers who will contribute towards stimulating local economies and creating opportunities for others.
In addition, food security will include targeting communities in the 50 poorest wards that will be supported through backyard food gardens and community gardens. Since Gauteng falls within the highly intensive, diversified commercial and subsistence agricultural zones of South Africa, the department will also continue to focus on the Maize Triangle Project, known for its grain cropping, ranching and dairy, poultry farms and piggeries.
Agro-processing will also be one of our specialities and we will make sure that we assist all those who are specialising in farming. In Gauteng, we have four nodal points, namely, Kwa-Sokhulumi, which the Deputy Minister also mentioned, Bantu-Bonke in Hekpoport and in Devon. As the department, we will make sure that we assist and support all those farmers who have been assisted through the national department.
All the departments have to invest in developing public amenities such as public libraries and classrooms, and also make sure that all those households have access to sanitation, but over and above that focus on their task of ensuring that they grow food in Gauteng. The department will continue to facilitate the implementation of the Gauteng Rural Social Compact Plan with stakeholders such as Women in Agriculture and Rural Development, Youth in Agriculture and Food and Allied Workers Union.
In conclusion, may I categorically state that feeding our citizens remains the primary motivator and instigator of all our agricultural activities espoused by the budget that has been allocated to us. I therefore convey appreciation for and embrace the political will of the ANC and its agenda of pursuing equality, justice and freedom as the glue that holds us together in moving our country forward.
I believe ours is a responsibility that knows no empty stomach, be it that of man or animal; it knows no race, colour, creed, or religion, but it is a misfortune that devastates any potential for growth and development. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): I can assure you, hon members, that before we conclude today, the Deputy Chair will be coming here. So, he will assist those who were lost when Gauteng said: “Indlala i ...” [Hunger is ...] ... because the laughter was coming from that side. So, we will clarify it for you so that you may understand. [Laughter.]
Mr M RAYI: Hon House Chair, hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon Members of the NCOP, MECs present, SA Local Government Association leadership, distinguished guests and government officials, hon Minister Zokwana has reminded us of the three national targets articulated in the National Development Plan, which were echoed in the state of the nation address in June this year. And these are to create 1 million new agricultural sector jobs by 2030; to expand a smallholder farming sector through land reform and other support measures and to eliminate insecurity through increased community-level food production through Fetsa Tlala.
We know that the achievement of these three targets will require close co-operation of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and a whole range of other parties, including provincial and municipal counterparts and other national departments such as the Department of Water for crucial expansion of irrigation activity.
We also know that these three targets are specifically interrelated. The expansion of the smallholder sector will contribute to the job creation targets of Outcome 4, which is decent employment through inclusive economic growth. The achievement of the job creation target will be a major contributor to achieving the food security target, which is Outcome 7, vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities with food security for all.
Please allow me to make a few remarks about the 1 million jobs target for the agricultural sector. First, the target is applauded, Minister, and we believe it is achievable with the right approach and commitment by all stakeholders in the sector. In 1992, there were 1,1 million people who were employed in the commercial agricultural sector. According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey of Quarter 4 in 2013, 713 000 people were employed in agriculture. Clearly, the sector has been shedding jobs over the past 20 years. We are, therefore, talking about complete reversal of this trend in the coming years. Indeed, the creation of 1 million new jobs in agriculture over the next 15 years implies doubling the agricultural sector employment.
We believe that this is possible because we have the commitment of government to support smallholders who feed the nation. The agricultural support provided to smallholders and land reform beneficiaries must be targeted and area-based. The Eastern Cape, for example, has vast tracts of land, communal land, but we also have topographical conditions that are not very conducive to large-scale commercial agriculture. We have smallholders who can be assisted to become more productive so that food security can be achieved at household and community levels. Access to markets for surplus needs to be prioritised for the rest of the country to benefit from this food surplus.
Our strategy to address and to meet the 1 million jobs target in the sector by 2030 will be multipronged. We addressed the needs of subsistence and smallholder producers and we capacitated the smallholder producers who were gearing up for semi-commercial and commercial production so that they can access export markets, but not at the expense of national food security.
There are many countries in the world that have succeeded in rapidly increasing employment in the semi-commercial and commercial agricultural sectors over the past few decades on the back of growing international trade in agricultural commodities and global value chains. China, which we usually associate with manufacturing jobs, is not the least. Remarkably, for example, China now supplies 60% of apple juice and 80% of garlic to the United States’ market.
The second point I would like to make with regard to the 1 million jobs target is that the doubling of agricultural sector jobs implies double the output and capital employed in the sector, assuming that labour productivity and sector capital output ratios do not change. South Africa is fortunate to be facing positive trends in export markets. For example, the Citrus Growers Association estimates that if we could open up China, Eastern Europe and India to our full potential for citrus exports, we could create 30 000 new farm jobs and another 20 000 in the packing houses. Also, the expansion of South African supermarkets into sub-Saharan Africa is creating a growing market for our agricultural producers. A doubling of capital employed in the sector over the next 15 years implies that we must create enabling conditions for very large new investment flows into the agricultural sector. I will return to this point later.
The third point I wish to make about the 1 million jobs target relates to how this can be done. Minister Zokwana referred us to the NDP and the Agriculture Policy Action Plan for details. Here, I wish to add a few basic remarks. First, it is important to know that the different agricultural sub-sectors have vastly different employment intensities. The horticulture sector, which mainly irrigates and produces fruit and vegetables, accounts for about 400 000 jobs. This is more than half the jobs in the agricultural sector. Our major labour intensive horticultural industries are citrus, deciduous fruit, wine and table grapes and sub-tropical fruits. Our dairy industry is also quite labour intensive, employing about 60 000.
In contrast to these industries, mechanised grain farming and herding of sheep and cattle do not require that much labour. Secondly, we expect the expansion of the smallholder agricultural sector to contribute to achieving the 1 million jobs target. But, it is not realistic to think that smallholders can achieve the target alone, hence our multipronged strategy as ANC-led government.
Thirdly, the new investment required for the agricultural sector to achieve the 1 million jobs target cannot be provided by public sector investment alone. Therefore, the private sector must invest in the agricultural sector.
Fourthly, following the NDP, we believe that solid long-term strategic partnerships should be established between our labour intensive agricultural industry and government to agree on measures to support growth and drive job creation. Minister Zokwana has also referred us to the 2003 Maputo Declaration to commit 10% of national budget to supporting the growth of the agricultural sector.
We know that the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ present allocation is less than 1% of the national budget, but we are confident that this percentage can be increased on the basis of demonstrated achievement towards realising the job targets.
The investment by government through Operation Phakisa to develop ocean economy is another area for collaboration between your department and the Department of Environmental Affairs. The opportunity to develop the aquaculture industry has been a key priority area for this government, even in the last term, when the Department of Agriculture was renamed to include the fisheries component.
Let me conclude by saying that I am very confident that the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, working together, seem to be on track progressively to achieve the state of the nation targets relating to farm employment, smallholder expansion and the elimination of food insecurity. We wish these departments every success. The ANC supports both Budget Votes. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms B SCHÄFER (Western Cape): Hon Speaker, hon Ministers, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
The issue of land reform and agriculture cuts right to the heart of South Africa’s consciousness. It speaks to us on an emotional level like few other topics, because agriculture and land reform are linked to the earth, and we, the children of Africa, have a very strong and deep connection to this African soil we call home.
Land reform implemented successfully has the potential to bring us together as one nation. But land reform implemented without wisdom and a clear future vision has the potential to lock us into the past, where we will be governed by discontent, distrust and a divided society, with no hope for a better future.
Our agricultural sector has the potential to create 1 million jobs according to the National Development Plan. Agriculture has the potential to lift people out of poverty and create prosperity, while at the same time to ensure our national food security. But with the wrong policies, weak implementation, and negative leadership, we stand to lose jobs, face a future of food insecurity, and we will see our rural towns and economies wither away.
It is against this background that we wish newly appointed Minister Zokwana ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Could you hold it there, please.
Ms G M MANOPOLE: Hon House Chair, I just want to find out whether it is parliamentary for the hon member to refer to you as the Speaker. Maybe she is lost and not in the right House? [Interjections.]
Ms B SCHÄFER (Western Cape): May I continue?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): There is a point of order that is being made. So, expect me to make a ruling on that. [Interjections.] I am not the Speaker.
Ms B SCHÄFER (Western Cape): You are a Chair. My apologies. Chair, it is against this background that we wish newly appointed Minister Zokwana and his Deputy Minister, Bheki Cele, the best of luck with their new challenging roles in the agricultural domain.
The Western Cape will continue to play its role in the national agricultural economy, currently representing 22% of the national agricultural output. We will work hard to create the enabling environment for job creation and investment in this sector.
We will continue to support our new empowerment farmers. The Western Cape is proud of the fact that 62% of the agricultural empowerment projects have been classified as sustainable by a recent independent audit. We want to share our implementation models and strategies with other provinces and also with Minister Zokwana.
We need successful land reform in order for South Africa to prosper as a united and stable country. We are concerned about Minister Nkwinti’s proposals in the current Green Paper on Land Reform, where commercial farmers are forced into 50/50 partnerships with workers, without compensation. We are very concerned about all aspects of this proposal, which has also raised alarm bells with a wide range of role-players in the agricultural sector, including black farmers’ associations.
Land reform can be successful if it is done in partnership with all the stakeholders involved. Unlike the ANC, the DA does not view land reform as a zero-sum game, where you take from white and give to black. This approach is a blunt tool which focuses only on hectares transferred, ignoring the realities of the vast differences between, say, land in the Karoo, where you need thousands of hectares to farm sustainably, and fertile irrigation land, where a few hectares can sustain an intensive farming enterprise.
We cannot afford to view land reform only in a historic context, without paying attention to the future implications of our policies.
We see land reform as an opportunity to empower previously disadvantaged rural communities. We want to see a reduction in rural poverty, and we want to see land being used to improve livelihoods. But there is also a wider context. South Africa is experiencing high levels of urbanisation, and this trend is unlikely to change. We need to ask: What are we doing for our urban population in terms of land reform?
I believe productive agricultural land should remain productive, and land reform models with a successful track record should also be used in this regard. This includes joint ventures between beneficiaries and experienced practitioners, co-operatives, contract farming and equity share schemes.
In June 2009, the national Department of Rural Development and Land Reform imposed a moratorium on share schemes, and although the moratorium was subsequently lifted, no further schemes have been financed by government. There are essentially 81 active schemes in the Western Cape, and we know of 5 schemes that have failed. These schemes are popular and successful for a number of reasons. Firstly, the beneficiaries are in most cases current employees in the original businesses. There is thus an established trust relationship between the original business owner and the new partners.
Secondly, the beneficiaries are people with proven track records in the specific business enterprise. Thirdly, in many cases, government’s contribution was used to expand the existing business, which improved the sustainability of the enterprise. It allowed for the creation of new opportunities, and in the process, the agricultural sector was allowed to grow, instead of being fragmented into many smaller and unsustainable units.
Fourthly, the beneficiaries have a safety net in the track record and business acumen of their partner. In most cases, the beneficiaries stay employed in the enterprise, so they do not have to risk current job security for a risky and unknown venture. Lastly, it is in all the parties’ interests for the venture to be profitable, as the original business owner has also invested capital in the new venture.
We do not agree with the current state of affairs, where the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform buys land, but does not transfer ownership to beneficiaries. Government should not be accumulating productive land. Beneficiaries need ownership of the land in order to qualify for private sector operational capital. It is our experience in the Western Cape that the refusal to transfer ownership is the one critical stumbling block holding back otherwise successful new farmers.
We cannot shy away from the situation in the former homelands, where approximately 21 million people are living on more than 17 million hectares of communal land. Transferring ownership to these citizens will unleash entrepreneurial potential and create opportunities. My view of land reform is that each policy decision in this regard should be tested against this one critical question: Are we improving livelihoods of previously disadvantaged people?
I want to conclude by asking the Ministers of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Rural Development and Land Reform to foster closer working ties than has been the case in the previous administration. Please work together for the sake of South Africa and her children. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, colleagues, chairpersons of portfolio committees and select committees, I am getting more and more scared of these biblical politics that says those that have must keep it as it is and those that take from those that do not keep that too.
The last speaker simply said, stay in Bantustans and don’t come here. The figure she speaks about is about 17 million, which used to be Bantustans. She does not talk about 82 million hectares that are owned by 35 000 people. Somebody must help us. We are asking: How do you deal with those figures? Eighty-two million hectares are almost the whole of South Africa. Those who know statistics say it is 70% of South African land, which is owned by 35 000 people. It cannot be that way. They must really help us and tell us how they begin to work with this terrible arithmetic.
It is in this light that I want to suggest that poverty reduction and increase in employment will not happen without agriculture, more specifically without a growing smallholder sector. Again, it is resistance that keeps a smallholder farmer there, preventing them from growing, so that they do not obtain commercial land - it is a matter of stay there and eat there. We need to make sure that we put them where they can grow and open up more space for everybody to come in.
These 1 million jobs will come when we open up the space, but we are being terrorised here by some saying there would be chaos. What chaos would there be if we begin to work this land? [Interjections.]
These figures are forever left in the way; they are never explained. Somebody spoke about ownership of farms that have moved to 29, but what they do not say is that more of them have been accumulated by those who have owned other farms before. These farms are not going into new hands; they are staying in old hands. And as they accumulate these farms, getting smaller in number and farms bigger in size, they shed jobs; they do not increase jobs. You buy these farms, you mechanise them and you shed the warm bodies, and then you talk about the jobs under the new scheme.
These figures have been reduced since 1950. There was no land reform then. There was no new government in 1950. Some of us, like me, have not been born in 1950, but these jobs were shed from that time until this point.
So people must really help us. While the production market has increased, the jobs have been shed. It is therefore important that we talk about these things.
For the jobs to increase, hon members, we have to make sure that we mobilise South Africans, especially the youth, because we will not be able to increase jobs if we do not bring the youth on board. But where is the youth and what do they think of these matters? [Interjections.]
You must remember it is still less than 82 million hectares that are privately owned and remember that the implementation of the National Development Plan, NDP, will only happen with proper mobilisation to achieve these 1 million jobs; to make sure that there is food security and that we increase the GDP. We say the youth especially must be recruited and brought on board.
Hon members, you must remember that the passion, success and commitment of black farmers in agriculture were systematically eroded through colonialism and apartheid interventions. Africans and youth in particular were forced into indentured labour that dehumanised and in turn dissuaded the youth from working in agriculture.
Twenty years into democracy, remnants of colonialism and apartheid are still apparent in the sector. As such, most youth think of agriculture as oppressive, hard labour with low wages and no room for career advancement. We must fight that kind of thinking and make sure that our youth come up. Indeed, a few are coming up, like 27-year-old Nomzamo Khoza, from KwaZulu-Natal, who is the Female Entrepreneur of the Year. We are really very thankful for that.
The Minister also will be working with other Ministers, especially the Ministers of Rural Development and Education to make sure that we mobilise our youth so that it becomes part of this new movement in agriculture to create all these jobs.
The area of beneficiation will really have to be worked out. The youth and the new people in the agricultural sector must see all the value chains where they are. They must be part of the new findings, new technology, new machines and the new thinking. They must see that agriculture does not belong to the apartheid era and is not a form of oppression, but part of liberation and a part of where we are supposed to increase jobs and find new liberation. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr R T MTHEMBU (KwaZulu-Natal): Hon Chair, the Chairperson of this House, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, permanent members of the NCOP and invited guests, in tabling their budgets, the two Ministers have made important projections of what the department was to do during this financial year.
For example, in agriculture, it is quite pleasing to note that the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, CASP, is one of the major interventions by the department. In fact, given the dire situation in South Africa, where about 20% of the population is vulnerable to food insecurity, such programmes as CASP need to be refocused to deal directly with this challenge.
There is a need to look at ways in which the department can leverage its limited budget with other government agencies and partners to ensure that there is adequate investment in food production and thus food security, particularly at local level.
As government, it is not possible to fund every activity if your resources are limited. Hence, there is a need for CASP to be more focused in terms of what is supported in the provinces.
Close monitoring and evaluation of the CASP budget and various projects in the province is required. This will maximise the impact of limited financial resources and ensure that farmers and poor people benefit from such government interventions.
Monitoring of CASP intervention requires technically skilled personnel. Unfortunately there is a trend to think that any official will be in a position to understand what has been achieved versus that which was expected. We need more appropriately skilled and trained personnel in the department to support the noble programmes and initiatives tabled by the Minister.
Agriculture and Forestry will always continue to compete for limited land and water resources with other sectors. This requires the department to be clear in terms of protecting high-potential cropping land against other competing demands without stifling economic growth.
While food and nutrition security is a priority for this government, the budget allocated for agriculture is never adequate. Entrant farmers are continually allocated land without adequate support. When such farmers cannot work the land as productively as anticipated, they are blamed for their lack of skills and dedication. No, it is primarily the lack of financial support for inputs. It has to be understood that the very same entrant farmers have no access to the banks as they often do not have collateral.
Therefore, we must congratulate the Minister for taking a solid stand on fisheries as a sector. Until such time that the fisheries and related industries are fully integrated, and it is taken into account that some communities depend on fish for survival, the sector will continue to be a thorny issue.
The major challenge for this sector is that the bulk of our stocks are harvested, not farmed. For many people it is about being given the opportunity to harvest, rather than farm with fish. Therefore, this department is faced with multiple challenges, namely to equitably allocate fishing licences to people whose aim it is to harvest to support the farmers with facilities such as boats to harvest and process fish, to monitor the quantities that are harvested on the basis of quotas allocated, and to legally intervene when such quotas are exceeded by some fisherfolk.
There is also a disjuncture of this function as it resides at national level, with very little involvement by provinces. While there are opportunities for most coastal provinces, there is a limited role, particularly for monitoring, by the provincial department.
Extension services are on the verge of collapse. Any turnaround strategies on extension services by the department are long overdue. Piecemeal and nonproductive activities such as the provision of green books, laptops, and data loggers do not help the cause. What is required is a dedicated cadre of extension personnel whose worth will be based on what project they have delivered on the ground.
The commitment by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to a radical and rapid break from the past gives South Africans the hope that the coming generation will witness meaningful redress of past imbalances. Without a land audit, the government will never know the full potential it has to change the economic fortune of its people. Therefore, this audit must leave no stone unturned in unearthing the unethical and fraudulent transactions that took place close to or during the political transition.
The conversion of the current foreign ownership of land should be applauded. Locals have a close affinity with the motherland and will therefore always put the needs of the country first in the management of such land. The restriction of foreign ownership of land is not a new concept; it is practiced by many countries. It is intended to ensure that the citizens have a chance at economic empowerment and to ensure that, should the needs of an investor change, it would be easy to move operations without being saddled with the intricacies of releasing land in their possession.
Farm evictions are a painful blight on the history of our democracy. Instead of evictions, we applaud the national government for coming up with alternatives to safeguard the humanity of those who toil on farms and therefore contribute immensely to the fortunes of farm owners on the one hand and to the undeniable need for farmers to be assured of the security of their investment on the other.
We must all contribute to the success of the comprehensive rural development programme. People do not move to urban areas in order to marvel at the bright city lights. It is economic hardship and educational opportunities that drive our people to leave their beloved, unpolluted lands to enter the hustle and bustle of city life. Economic migration destroys families. If people are empowered where they live, they have no reason to surrender themselves to the harshness of a nomadic life.
Therefore, the Minister and his colleagues must be applauded again for their commitment to the upliftment of vulnerable groups, especially women and the youth. One of the sorest remnants of oppression is the denial of women the right to use rural land simply on the basis of their gender.
The legislative efforts in the form of the new communal land Bill are applauded. It is hoped that in provinces like ours the district land committees will have a healthy relationship with the district agricultural forums that are going to be created to ensure collaboration and participation in agriculture. With those inputs, we as KwaZulu-Natal support both budgets. Thank you. [Applause.]
Cllr S NKATLO (Salga): Hon Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members and special delegates, good afternoon. Major strides have been made at local government level in relation to improving the livelihood of rural communities. The challenges being experienced in urban areas are intertwined with rural underdevelopment, and the role of local government in addressing the developmental challenges faced by communities, whether they are urban or rural, should therefore be the point of departure.
Hon Chair, the various rural development initiatives being pursued by the department are aligned with the role and function of the developmental local government. The department’s strategic objectives speak directly to SA Local Government Association’s Small Town Regeneration Programme. It is therefore imperative that the department and SA Local Government Association, Salga, collaborate on most of the initiatives, as articulated by the department, especially with regard to the strategic objectives that seek to improve land administration and spatial planning for integrated sustainable growth and development; to transform patterns of land tenure and use; to improve rural livelihoods, income and job opportunities ... gore tlala e. [to eradicate poverty.]
It seeks to improve access to services in rural areas through the co-ordination of quality infrastructure; promote economically, socially and environmentally viable rural enterprises and industries; restore land rights; facilitate integrated spatial planning and land use management; provide support to rural communities; facilitate the development of rural enterprises and industries; provide comprehensive farm development support to smallholder farmers and land reform beneficiaries for agrarian transformation.
These initiatives will all be implemented in municipal spaces. Being the sphere of government that is closest to the people, partnership with local government is critical in ensuring sustainability of the initiatives outlined above. By partnering with Salga through each Small Town Regeneration Programme and professional development programme, the department can and will be able to address some of the challenges associated with focusing on individual projects as opposed to defined spaces. We therefore see the strategic objectives of the department complementing Salga’s approach to economic development of rural spaces. We look forward to a meaningful partnership for the benefit of our people ... gore tlala le yone e. [to eradicate poverty.]
As regards infrastructure development and capacity-building, the programme, as outlined by the Minister, can act as a catalyst in addressing the scourge of rural poverty only if all stakeholders in rural development get their hands on deck. As Salga, we acknowledge that projects and programmes are key components in driving back the frontiers of rural poverty. However, the capacity of our officials across all spheres of government, who are responsible for ensuring the successful implementation of this programme, is crucial. It is for that reason that Salga would like to partner with the department in providing training to the relevant officials through its professional development programme and indirectly bridge the gap between programme implementation and outcomes.
The various infrastructure programmes that are outlined in the Budget Vote are welcomed, as they will not only provide employment for rural communities, but will also facilitate access by rural communities to other key social and economic services that are important in revitalising the economies of our rural towns. The local government sector looks forward to actively partnering with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in all the workstreams that will eventually lead to the improvement of livelihoods of rural people.
There is an opportunity for the local government sector proactively to partner with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and systematically pursue the rural development agenda in a manner that allows for the creation of a platform for sharing good practices across all the three spheres of government.
As far as legislation and policy are concerned, Salga looks forward to making constructive inputs into relevant legislation and policy development processes. The involvement of Salga in these processes at an early stage will assist in ensuring that municipalities make meaningful contributions to any policy proposals that have a bearing on their areas of functional competence.
In conclusion, Salga is excited about the various rural development initiatives being pursued by the department, and looks forward to partnering with both the provincial and national spheres of government in the implementation of the various initiatives outlined in the Budget Vote.
Lastly, Salga cannot overemphasise the need for partnership with the local government sector in order to ensure the sustainability of these rural development initiatives. Together, we are moving South Africa forward. I thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Ms B A J MATSHOGE (Limpopo): Hon Chairperson, hon Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Mr Zokwana, hon Minister Mr Nkwinti, Deputy Minister Mr Cele, Deputy Minister Ms Mashego-Dlamini and Deputy Minister Mr Skwatsha, chairpersons of select committees, hon members of the National Council of Provinces, ladies and gentlemen in the gallery, good day.
It is a great pleasure for me to address this House on various issues relating to how we are accelerating socioeconomic transformation and agrarian reform at national and provincial levels with the intention of bringing a better life to all.
South Africa, our beloved land of green valleys and smiling hills, forests of tall trees and short shrubs, is richly endowed with some of the finest shoals of fish, and fauna and flora. It belongs to all those who live in it.
In the past decades we have introduced a raft of programmes in order to address the devastating effects of apartheid colonialism and create a society that is based on the equalisation of opportunities for all.
One of the leading lights of our transformation has been Tata Nelson Mandela, whose efforts at bringing justice, food security and fighting poverty, deprivation, unemployment and underdevelopment are well known the world over. This being Mandela Month, it is befitting during august occasions of this pedigree to draw from the thoughts of this great South African on the issue of land restitution and reform. Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela said:
Our Land Reform Programme helps redress the injustices of apartheid. It fosters national reconciliation and stability. It underpins economic growth and improves household welfare and food security.
Furthermore, the Freedom Charter states that:
The land shall be shared among those who work it. Restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all land redivided amongst those who work it to banish famine and land hunger ... People shall not be robbed of their cattle, and forced labour shall be abolished.
We are not instant communists or fly-by-night Marxist-Leninists, who cloak anarchic intentions with revolutionary disclosure. Pragmatism is what informed and drove the tripartite alliance from its inception. Nowhere in the Freedom Charter is it stated that there would be land without compensation. For as long as we are in power, we will never reinvent the legacy of land dispossession. No ferocious mudslinging will distort and taint our movement’s proud record as custodians of human rights. [Applause.]
Regardless of class, gender or race, the 82 million hectares of the country’s agricultural land must be equitably and fairly allocated to all people. Land is neither expandable nor elastic. We have to make ends meet with what we have.
At national level, through Fetsa Tlala, an estimated 1 million hectares will be cultivated by 2019, creating much needed 300 000 jobs. Working together, we are doing more in tackling food insecurity and chronic hunger. It is not only in our country where food production is a major challenge. The African Union has also declared the year 2014 as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security. It is back to the ploughing fields for 53 countries because winning nations plant what they eat and eat what they plant. Agriculture is the lifeblood of the human race. This fact of life has been duly recognised by our National Treasury.
In the recent Budget Speech, the Ministry gave financial support to the National Development Plan’s aim of creating 1 million jobs in this sector by 2030, by allocating more than R7 billion to conditional grants in the provinces for the purpose of supporting about 435 000 subsistence farmers and 54 500 smallholder farmers in order to improve extension services.
The Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme, which receives R1,6 billion per year, aims to increase farm output for the beneficiaries of land reform. All these efforts are aimed at reversing the harmful effects of the Natives Land Act of 1913 and other associated aspects of the legacy of apartheid colonialism.
In our province we have a good story to tell in terms of what we have done so far. We are not ashamed to trumpet our achievements and blow our horns with confidence. On land restitution and reform, nearly 5 000 farms have been transferred to black people, benefitting over 200 000 families, while almost 80 000 land claims totalling 3,4 million hectares have been settled and this benefitted an estimated 1,8 million people.
Since 2009, a total of 648 food insecure households were assisted with seeds, laying hens and poultry feed. Over the past 20 years R116 million was disbursed to assist a total of 1 776 emerging farmers’ projects with seedlings, fertilisers, animal production stock, animal feed and medication.
With regard to the Animal Veld Management Programme, AVMP, this intervention aims to promote decongestion of communal land and also identify farms that will be used to accommodate black farmers who have demonstrated their farming entrepreneurial skills and talents. An estimated R400 million has been set aside to fund projects that will advance this initiative. I wanted to respond to one of my learned friends who spoke about Mogalakwena. Unfortunately I don’t see him in this House. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: I am here.
Ms B A J MATSHOGE (Limpopo): Are you here? Hon Chairperson, in Mogalakwena, our traditional leaders have given out hectares of land for the AVMP programme. Angus bulls have been procured. You should watch this space, hon member. I am talking about my province. Come to the province; answers are on the desktop.
With regard to Fetsa Tlala ...
Ms B A J MATSHOGE (Limpopo): Limpopo re a e tšokotša tlala. [Tšhwahlelo.] [In Limpopo we alleviate hunger. [Interjections.]]
Limpopoisamongtheleading provinces in termsofimplementingandacceleratingthis intervention. The provincial government has spent R73 million on Fetsa Tlala mechanisation, whereby 56 560 hectares were planted against the set annual target of 70 000 hectares. We have projected that despite not meeting the national target, 77 955 tons of grain is expected to be harvested, with an estimated potential income of R194 million, with an estimated yield of 1,5 tons per hectare at an estimated market price of R2 500 per ton.
Under the IDC-Nguni Cattle Development programme, 59 projects that favoured 802 women, 1 942 men and 153 youth have been established. The total cattle loan currently stands at 2 521, with an estimated value of R22 million. The latter figure is the cost incurred in procuring the cattle stock. A total of 323 head of cattle have been received as loan repayment already. The total income to farmers from the sale of cattle amounts to R3 million.
In the formative years of the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, CASP, emphasis was put on subsistence farming in order to ensure food security at household level. Since 2009 the programme started funding mega-projects, which responded to economic challenges such as unemployment and decline in the agricultural sector. Since its inception a total of R1,1 billion has been disbursed to 9 150 projects that have 43 890 beneficiaries. The department has constructed 30 environmentally controlled poultry projects, which are mostly linked to local contract markets. The farmers contribute 840 000 chickens per cycle.
Our department, in partnership with the Limpopo department of economic development and the Department of Labour, has concluded plans to make the Lebowakgomo Abattoir fully operational to serve as a central market to other poultry houses.
On the Ilima/Letsema programme, the conditional grant has used a total budget of R43 million to support farmers in grain crops, vegetables, subtropical and citrus farmlands. About 172 projects with 9 220 beneficiaries, covering 45 623 hectares, were supported. Under this intervention, 6 840 permanent and 5 300 temporary jobs were created.
In the current financial year, 112 projects, mainly in the grain and vegetable sector, will be supported. With the total budget close to R46 million, the farming activities of the grant will cover 46 175 hectares.
We have the Jermaat Seed Company based in our province, which is the first black-owned seed company in the country. It has supplied 18 farmers participating in the Land Reform Project with breeder seeds to produce 500 tons of certified seeds.
In conclusion, let us all pause for a moment, draw ounces of inspiration, tons of courage and seek guidance and direction from the Holy Book in all our future land restitution and agrarian reform endeavours. This we can find in the Book of Apostle John 12:24, NLT:
Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels - a plentiful harvest of new lives.
I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J P PARKIES: Chair, hon Ministers, hon Members of the NCOP, invited guests and our officials from the departments; Chairperson, could I request that, when I am left with four minutes, you please inform me?
Allow me to preface my points by quoting Africanist Frederick Douglass, who lived in 1857 during the time of slavery, who said:
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. In the great struggle now progressing for the freedom and elevation of our people, we should be found at work with all our might, resolved that no man or set of men shall be more abundant in labors according to the measure of our ability than ourselves.
Hon Smit stood here and spoke about a sense of belonging. He can’t talk about a sense of belonging when his brothers are evicting our people from the farms. The DA – where’s my sister? She’s gone. – cannot talk about the poverty of our people because they are not genuine about that poverty. The DA and the FF Plus in our land cannot articulate the misery of our people.
The debate around the land question should not be emotional; it must be ideological. I wanted to tell my sister that. You must go and tell her. Because, the negativity of leadership that she is talking about, the actual people who are negative are the liberals who are saying our policy interventions on the land question are spurious. Look, food security and productivity cannot be achieved if our people are without land. Hon Smit stands here talking about 120 farms being reduced to 37 farms. Let me respond to you, my brother. Your brothers are converting farms to game farms and golf clubs ...
Mr V E MTILENI: Chair, the hon member is indicating that he wanted to ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, don’t complicate my job. You either rise on a point of order, or you want to ask a question. So, what is going to be?
Mr V E MTILENI: It is a point of order, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Okay, I am listening to your point of order.
Mr V E MTILENI: I heard hon Parkies referring to “an hon sister” and to hon Smit as “brother”. I want him to correct that. There are no sisters or brothers in the House. They are honourable members. [Interjections.] I am talking to you, not members who are just howling here. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order! Order! Hon Mtileni, take your seat. [Interjections.] Take your seat! Hon Nzimande?
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chair, can the member withdraw the statement that members here are howling. It is unparliamentary.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, I can see that all of you are now getting excited. We have Rules that guide us. Let us allow the member to continue.
Mr C F B SMIT: Chair, I have one question for the hon member. I hope he can ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (Mr A J Nyambi): No! No!
Mr C F B SMIT: I may ask a question ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon member, you can’t just rise and say you have a question. You have to ascertain whether the member is ready to take your question. If you do that, you will make it simple for me. You need to ask me to find out whether the member is prepared to take your question. Hon Parkies, are you prepared to take a question?
Mr J P PARKIES: No, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Parkies is not ready to take a question. Please take your seat, hon Smit. Hon Julius?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chairperson, I am being ... The members say I am naughty and that I must sit down. I rise on a point of order, Chair. Seriously though, Chair, the member referred to the hon members as brothers. Now, if that is meant racially, then it is unparliamentary. If I am part of the group being referred to as “my brothers” and I do not know people who are evicting people or taking land from people; those are not my brothers.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you ...
Mr J W W JULIUS: It can be your or anyone’s brother. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, members! Thank you, hon Julius. Hon members, he has made his point. He was making a point of order. Let me assure you that I will ascertain after going through the transcript whether what is being alleged to have been said by hon Parkies has some racial connotations. I will then come back and make a Ruling. Let’s allow hon Parkies to continue. Continue, hon member.
Mr J P PARKIES: Chair, okay, let me respond to him. The food prices in this country started to escalate before 1994 because of liberalisation. That is an ideological issue, my brother.
Any triumph of the revolution must be measured on the basis of the strides it makes in changing the structure of the political economy and transforming the production relations...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Parkies, please hold on. Hon Smit?
Mr C F B SMIT: Chair, I think it is important that we respect each other in this House. I rise on a point of order. We should not call each other “my brother” in this House. [Interjections.] We should refer to each other as honourable members. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Smit, take your seat! [Interjections.] Hon Smit, hon Julius touched on that point and I have made a Ruling on it. I don’t therefore know why you are taking us back. Let us allow the hon member to continue. [Interjections.] Hon Mtileni, kindly take your seat. [Interjections.] Hon Mtileni! [Interjections.] No! Let me ... Can you stand up? [Interjections.] Hon Mtileni! Please stand. Do you remember what happened yesterday? I was not the Presiding Officer, but an issue about behaviour was addressed, and the unfortunate part is that you were the one being addressed. Please don’t tempt me to get into what happened here yesterday. I am pleading with you. Kindly take your seat and allow the member to continue. [Interjections.] Take your seat. Hon Parkies, please continue.
Mr J P PARKIES: That is the task of the moment in the context of the radical phase of our transition, and that of the National Democratic Revolution. This equals the fundamental change from the old modes of neo-liberal colonial growth paths to a more radical job-guaranteed growth path with the state at the centre of the development. Therefore, the pronouncement of the President on the reopening of the land claims process is political menthol to our people who were robbed of their land.
Reindustrialisation embedded in the Industrial Policy Action Plan, Ipap, includes our inputs on agro-processing, the value-chain industry and productive economy. Those who are voluntary actors in the process of the revolution have a duty to fulfil this task.
South Africa is still bleeding from the historical fraud of the land dispossession of our black people, an act of indignity that thumb-screwed the rightful owners of the land into tormenting poverty, landlessness and reduced them to being nothing but objects. This is the grim reality; an undeniable historical accuracy.
We want to state cogently that this is the time to resign or to come on board. Productive economic activity for sustainable livelihoods requires that we give land to our people.
The green colour of the ANC flag represents the land question which sustained our people for many centuries. The ANC government can no longer be too careful or unreasonably careful about the fears of the market forces and their apologists. We can no longer afford political scruples, nor do we need the logic of the blind laws of the market, interpreted for us by liberal academics fired by infertile ideology.
Let us to respond to the stolid analysts of the possible, the frivolous timewasters, the bumptious vampires of the world, the most sordid and dangerous scoundrels in our politics in manner and appearance, the DA and the FF Plus. Their jingo-patriotism has long ago lost its political puff. Ours is to consciously expose the fantastic hypocrisy of the DA in our country. They voted against the land amendment Act in our Parliament ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hold on, hon Parkies. Hon Smit?
Mr C F B SMIT: Chair, I would like to know whether the speaker is prepared to take a question from me. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, members! He has that right. Hon Parkies, are you prepared to take a question?
Mr J P PARKIES: No.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): He said no. Please take your seat. [Interjections.]
Mr J P PARKIES: Chair, the DA and the FF Plus derive pleasure from the misery of our people. What is missing from their minds are the squalid conditions and crass exploitation, which blur their mind to the extent that the ANC’s approach is seen as disastrous. Their fear of their circumstances is fatal and immoral, and they use it to justify their vicious exploitation of workers and natural resources for their own ends.
Yet, they blame the ANC government. We are saying that it is the duty of the democratic state to be interventionist and developmental in nature so as to protect the hapless poor masses from this kind of exploitation.
There is no amount of volume or noise of any proportion that can create potential legitimacy for and justification of this historical defraud of our fathers’ land. The socioeconomic conditions and political petrifaction is embedded in this question of land dispossession and the hegemony of the apartheid colonialism as a codified system. Each type of relation of production is defined by relations of possession and property, hon Smit.
As power, property implies the existence of ideological relations, with the state imposing norms articulated by the law, within a context of objective conditions between class interests.
The Freedom Charter of the ANC remains our lodestar.
The entire concern of those who are opposed to this programme is just a truckload of nonsense. It will never subvert us or our transformation of this society.
I want to make one final point. They call our programme on land reform “shotgun weddings”. These white liberals, including ... [Interjections.]
They are liberals. They are academics. They are ... [Interjections.]
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chair, I rise on a point of order. It is very offensive and racially suggestive to refer to “white liberals”. Liberals have different colours, so why does the hon member refer to “white liberals”? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order! Order! Hon members, I do not want to get drawn into dealing with what he said. We will come back with a Ruling on it. [Laughter.] Let us allow him to conclude. Please conclude, hon member.
Mr J P PARKIES: Chair, I am saying these attitudes ... these frivolous attitudes ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): My apology, hon Parkies. Hon Nzimande?
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chair, hon Julius is calling a member a racist. It is unparliamentary and I would like you to Rule on that at your next opportunity.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Julius, is it true that you have called member a racist?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Yes, Chair, I believe he fits the description. [Interjections.] I do so proudly!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Can you withdraw ...
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chair, I am calling him a racist on the basis of that remark he made now. You failed to Rule on it, yet you heard it. It was a racist statement that he made.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Julius, please stand. I posed a question, and you confirmed that you called a member a racist. What is worse is that I said in response to the point of order that I am going to ascertain what was said, because I didn’t hear him. So, can you kindly withdraw that? The conduct that you are displaying is unparliamentary because we said that we would come to the House with a Ruling. It might be in favour; it might be against.
Mr J W W JULIUS: I withdraw, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (Mr A J Nyambi): Continue, hon Parkies.
Mr J P PARKIES: I am saying this attitude portrayed by the liberals in our society represents a disastrous dichotomy for South Africa and our revolution. We are saying that the state must intervene. A democratic state must will or force the financial sector to come to the party with a genuine programme on skills investment.
The last point is put directly to hon Minister Gugile Nkwinti.
We want to frontload the attitude and framework that says, if we are to succeed at cracking the tormenting poverty in South Africa, let’s have high-impact projects in every region in our country. Yes, it might be not genuine enough in term of resources, but if we want to crack poverty and deal with inequalities in each and every region, let’s have a pilot project on rural development, which is unlike having one project per province.
The second idea is that we enforce the issue of agricultural co-operatives. We will never survive in this programme if we don’t foster that. Siyabulela, Sihlalo. [Thank you, Chair.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Chairperson, hon Ministers Nkwinti and Zokwana, hon Deputy Ministers, special delegates and invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, hon Minister Nkwinti has already presented the budget policy speech of our department to this House, and the Deputy Minister, hon Mashego-Dlamini, has also put emphasis on some of our areas of work. I therefore propose to take another approach and will probably not read the entire speech. I particularly want to do so here because we have delegates from provinces who would like to hear what is happening in their respective provinces.
In Limpopo, portion 4, 7 404 hectares of the farm Middeldoorn in the Waterberg District will be leased to Ms Pheladi Catherine Moyo, who has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural management from the University of Limpopo. She is a National Rural Youth Service Corps, Narysec, participant of the 2010 intake from Marble Hall in the Sekhukhune District. The acquisition price was R5,2 million.
In the Free State, portions 1, 2, and 3 of the farm Wildealskloof No 1205 are leased to Ms Gertrude Botlhoko and Ms Ramakarane. The farm is situated near Mangaung. The purchase price was R39,5 million. For the Red Meat Value Chain pilot project, we are busy finalising the transaction on the acquisition of shares.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hold on, Deputy Minister. Hon Monopole?
Ms M MONOPOLE: Chairperson, hon Londt referred to His Excellency hon Zuma as “Zuma”.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Londt, you know that it is unparliamentary to do that. Can you assist the House by withdrawing that?
Mr J J LONDT: Chairperson, I then withdraw that. I said “Zuma’s daughter” and I should have said “the hon Zuma’s daughter”; how she got her job. [Interjections.] I withdraw that.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, order! Let’s allow the Deputy Minister to continue.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: We are busy finalising the transaction on the acquisition of shares at the Bloemfontein Abattoir so that 30% shares in the business are reserved for emerging livestock farmers. The abattoir has already been acquired for R30 million. This is part of contributing to our commitment to creating vibrant, equitable, and sustainable communities and food security for all.
One of the things that we shall be implementing going forward is land reform. This is a task that we take very seriously in the department. In his state of the nation address, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma said that:
Government will provide comprehensive support to smallholder farmers by speeding up land reform and providing technical, infrastructural and financial support.
Land reform is one of the tasks central to the transformation of our society. Ordinary citizens must benefit from the post-1994 political breakthrough.
We will convene a land tenure summit in August 2014 in order to reach consensus on what ought to be done practically to reverse the colonial and apartheid legacy, which means that more than 75% of the black population is predominantly landless, propertyless, unskilled and without secure tenure rights. Land reform within the context of the National Development Plan is accorded the daunting task of ensuring that both economic growth and integration are facilitated.
As I indicated, I want to concentrate on something that was said here.
The EFF continuously offers us its vote to amend the Constitution. I am not sure how we should really indicate to them that we do not want a vote that would lead to disaster. We are a responsible government. I want to repeat what former President Thabo Mbeki said. Quoting Karl Marx, he said:
Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-determined circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.
He goes on to say that:
No revolution is worthy of its name if it does not know when to enter into such compromises, and gets lost about what it should do afterwards, in pursuit of its strategic goals.
We are sure about where we are going; we are focused. We know what we are doing. This is why, when others were calling for an eye for an eye in this country, we said that South Africa belongs to all who live in it and that no government can justly claim authority over South Africa unless that government is based on the will of the people. This government is based on the will of an overwhelming 62% majority, as confirmed in the May general election. So, I really want to request our young brothers, the EFF, to understand what we are busy with here.
I want to refer to another quote, one by Paul Kruger, the last President of the old Boer South African Republic, also known as the Transvaal Republic, who wrote in his memoirs about the many wars that he waged against the indigenous people to take their land and livestock. This quote describes a battle against King Moshoeshoe. He says:
From there the commando marched further in the direction of Moshesh’s town. On the way, near the Katskatsberg, we came upon a strong Kaffir force of about 20 000 men ... we held a council of war in which it was decided that the burghers of the South African Republic should receive farms in the territory which was now about to be freed of the enemy and hold them under the laws of the Orange Free State. The Government of the Free State was informed of this resolution. An attack was made on the Malap Mountains and met with perfect success. The enemy was driven off, a large number of his men killed and wounded and a quantity of cattle captured ... we counted no less than 8 000 head. The Kaffirs made their way back to the town, pursued by our men, and, after some more fighting, we managed to capture 30 000 more sheep, 8 000 oxen and a few hundred horses.
This is how our land and livestock were taken from us. [Interjections.] Kruger and his ilk did not pay for it. It was taken by force. I am making this point to say that I dare wonder what South Africa would look like if the ANC did not exist. We have young, impatient people who want to lead us in a different direction, but we have those who meted out this brutal force against the indigenous people of this country, not really being “abantu abangenantloni”. There is no apology, and we are saying, live with us, stay with us in a peaceful way. However, you cannot ask us not to redress the imbalances of the past; we are going to do it. [Interjections.]
You see, the hon Minister proposes this 50%, and the DA from the Western Cape says that the Minister is imposing. The Minister says discuss, discuss, discuss. The time will come when we will have to take a decision. [Interjections.] That decision will be to do the right thing for our people, who have been struggling for so long in this country. So, you can either join the moving bus or step aside, as the President said yesterday. [Applause.]
I want to close by quoting again. You see, Sol Plaatje indicated that the land question – where this whole thing started – is the “most cruel and abominable law ever conceived since the introduction of white rule in South Africa”. In closing, I once again want to quote the first president of the ANC, the honourable John Langalibalele Dube, who said: “The white ox has got all the pasture; the black ox has nowhere to graze.” We cannot leave things as they are. We must go forward in implementing our programme so that we, the people of this country, can live in peace and prosperity. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Chairperson, let me start by saying that Amilcar Cabral warns us when he says: “Tell no lies; claim no easy victories”. [Interjections.]
So unfortunate is apartheid that no-one claims a part of it. Even those who fought on the border defending it disclaim it today. No-one would agree that they had benefitted from the previous regime. I am sorry. They come and tell us that we have weak leadership, that we make the wrong policies. Why must we listen to them? We will listen if they come and share ideas with us. We value their ideas as long as the ideas help us move forward. I have seen scarecrows being used when people want to scare birds, but the birds have learned to stand on them and to do what they do best. [Interjections.]
The DA has demonstrated one thing to me, that even the issues they base their campaigns on become irrelevant when they enter Parliament. The reduction in the number of farms, which they claim is caused by the ANC, is caused by rich white farmers who purchase failing farms so that they can ensure that they make more profit, even up to 32% in terms of their net profit. If you are going to come here with your own views, go back and make sure that your economists inform you, because these figures are detailed in reports. It would not help us to come here and tell us that our policies are failing.
Deputy Minister Skwatsha has detailed the way the farms were taken from our own people. That is not what we are proposing. If I may refer to the people who wear red overalls, I think they should wear green overalls. In agriculture, we wear green overalls to make sure that we are productive. Africans were dispossessed by noNgqawuse, telling them that they must kill their cattle, then burn their produce – that something big was coming. This is what the EFF is telling people. They make a noise, because they lead nobody. Even my chickens would never accept that a hawk is a chicken. They would run away, because they would know that a hawk can never be a chicken. [Interjections.]
For instance, if you had attended all the meetings and had listened, you would have heard the EFF members behave like “phala ya Morena”. They read the line that Malema said in the first meeting. It is like a song in church that is sung by everybody.
The point that I am getting at is that we have met with farmers. In our last meeting with the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa they agreed with us that change must happen. They wanted to provide input. Yesterday, I received their input, and I respect it, not like the DA, who said that if we changed the land formulation, the world would cry foul. If the DA comes and says that, it means that they had not met with any farmers. The farmers we have met with say that we should make sure, when we do all of these things, their voices are heard, and we listen to them.
I can tell you even on the Fishing Rights Allocation Process issue - which is in court according to the DA - the DA would not tell you that our oceans are extorted by only four companies. They won’t tell us that! I can tell you that the DA is being economical with the truth when they say that co-operatives cannot function. From 1948, the apartheid government had white farmers assisted through co-operatives. [Applause.] Why won’t they work now? Tell the people of the Western Cape who come to us and say that they want co-operatives that! Tell them, because when you go there and campaign; you don’t tell them what you know.
I saw something when I was young. When guys from the rural areas come to town and find guys wearing their shorts above their bums, they wear theirs below, because they want to become better tsotsis. [Laughter.] I have seen guys who joined parties after democracy and that they fight more for those parties. If you want to know the DA, read the book by Maloka, Friends of the Natives: The Inconvenient Past of South African Liberalism. Then you will know the essence of liberalisation and the issue of individualism that they preach.
We will change things in agriculture. We will speak to people. My chief amongst us today, your presence I cherish, because we have engaged all chiefs and planned meetings with all the kings. We won’t do things above them. Municipalities, you are part of the programme. Provinces are part of the programme. Together with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, we are like twins. We will share the profits and claim victories together. No farm will lie fallow because it has been changed. We will make sure that it succeeds. We don’t listen to people who come here and say that the world is about to fall. Don’t listen to them. Let’s move forward and build. They can sing the only song they know. Please do not listen to them. They do not know what their people are saying. We will prove them wrong.
There is racism in the Knysna forest. We are going there to change that. [Applause.] When farmers pay their workers a decent wage, as I do my lone worker, who looks after 15 head of cattle, there will be peace on the farms. We are concerned about the killing of farmers, and we will do something, because we care.
Ons sal met julle saamwerk. Baie dankie. [We will work with you. Thank you very much.] [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Chairperson, you know, it is always tempting to respond to what hon members say here. I just want to stick to what I came here for. We presented our budget speech to the House. The key features are policy proposals that are on the table, as well as the Bills that will sustain them. I wish I had heard someone – a member from the DA – commenting on that, but they said nothing. At least the hon member from the “Everything For Free” party said something. [Laughter.]
The Bill that we will bring to the House, the Regulation of Land Holdings Bill, will address the question of what we referred to in the resolutions of the ANC conference as “land ceilings”. I had hoped that the hon members from the DA who represent the neoliberal right and the farmers who own the land, or the landed class in our country would follow what is there so that they do not jump when this Bill comes to the House and say that they had not known. This is a very important Bill for South Africans.
What the hon Schäfer decided to talk is the 50/50. The 50/50 is part of a regime of transformative legislation and institutions. Hon members do not follow, perhaps because at the time that they prepared their speeches, they did not have the budget policy speech. Now that they do have it, I hope that they will actually focus on it so that they are not surprised.
The third point is that we, as South Africans, have to continuously persuade one another that it is worth our while to actually think about the people who have nothing. You see, you have here a very strange situation. You have young members of the DA who hardly understand what happened in South Africa representing the DA here, and they speak. [Interjections.] Both are young – the hon member Smit and the hon member Schäfer are young hon members. Sometimes they do not understand what they are talking about and just how provocative they could be when they speak here. They don’t understand.
You see, you have an hon member who comes and tells us that we need wisdom to handle this thing. You know, their forefathers needed no wisdom. Most of them were brutal and incompetent, but because they had the might of the law and the army, they ran roughshod over our people. They do not know that. The DA does this. It does not have policies; no alternative policies. They do not have it in terms of rural development and land reform. All they know is to come here – even in their House they do that – and criticise. They actually do not appreciate the fact that the ANC has been very tolerant.
Some hon members would say that we produced the Red Ants. They will say so. [Interjections.] They are right, because we did. Now, you can see that is literally a breakaway group from the ANC Youth League. They have become impatient. However, it does not make sense to the DA; it does not make sense. They do not understand. It is not clear. To conclude what the hon Deputy Minister said, John Langalibalele Dube said as he was addressing the commission on the Natives Land Act, Act 27 of 1913, in conclusion: “I am sorry if I cannot make that clear to you.”
We don’t seem to make ourselves clear to the DA and its followers. They don’t understand that what they are doing is playing with fire. It is wrong. It is wrong. Thank you very much, Chair. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, this is the only House in the country where you will have even local government participating, as we have seen today. Members, we will continue with the process of learning. It is a continuous process, but it will be simple. When you rise on a point, always carry your Rules, because you will just say, for example, in terms of Rule 46(b), that is why I rise on a point of order. Then you make it simple for the House and the person presiding.
Business suspended at 13:03 and resumed at 13:40.