Response to vote 02 Budget Speech for the Deparment of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development tabled on 09 July 2014

Response to vote 02 Budget Speech for the Deparment of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development tabled on 09 July 2014

12 July 2014

The African National Congress in the Northern Cape extends its heartening and comradely support to its comrade MEC for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Norman Shushu for having delivered a Budget Vote that crystalizes the aspirations of our rural masses, small-holder and commercial farmers and the bolstering of efforts in attaining food security.

The great work being undertaken by Comrade Shushu and his team of diligent officials in ensuring land and agrarian reform remains one of the reasons the rural poor and farmers in their diversity continue to support the ANC in a province that is vastly rural. In moving towards the 60th Anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter, we can assert that the ANC is indeed ensuring that "The Land Shall be Shared Among Those Who Work It."

We appeal to Commercial Agriculture not to be fooled by the Democratic Alliance in its wanton condemnation of the great work being undertaken by the Department in disaster management such as flood and drought relief. The ANC has noted with dismay deliberate efforts by the DA to mislead in respect of processes governing the granting of disaster relief which is commonly known to be administered in accordance with the due processes prescribed by the National Disaster Management Act. The flood relief granted to the tune of R1,2 billion amid the 2011 floods of Upington and surrounding towns, resuscitated our grape industry and rescued over thousands from being jobless. Representatives of the various Agriculture Unions are being briefed around disaster relief technical processes but it appears the DA often succeeds in misleading the Media. We salute the officials that have guaranteed the rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed in those ravaging floods.

The ANC is also being shocked to note the continued trend by the DA in wanting to create a divide in the agricultural sector by continuously castigating efforts at building strong black driven enterprises such as Warrenton Super Chicks. We applaud the Department for having once again committed over R200 million towards enterprise development and harnessing the rural economy. The ANC has also noted that serious headways have also been made in granting financial support in alignment with the Freedom Charter`s clarion call.

Efforts by the DA to punt commercial agriculture as the stepchild of the Department should receive the strongest condemnation in that millions that have been spent on the Vaalharts Revitalization Scheme which remains a priority, is benefiting and will continue to benefit commercial agriculture. There is no race in providing food and fibre to the Northern Cape, South Africa, Africa and the world at large. It is white owned consultancies and contractors that remain in the majority as service providers in the work being undertaken in rebuilding of the bridges and other infrastructure in the flood affected areas including the Vaalharts Revitalization Scheme. The farm lesson we ought to teach the DA is that the farmer is one who bears hope for a harvest of prosperity, rearing with love and not despondency,

The ANC also salutes Mr. Obed Mvula and his staff at the Regional Office of Rural Development and Land Reform and the Land Claims Commission for the selfnessness at which they have carried out the land reform processes. We trust that the re-opening of the lodgement of claims shall be met with the same speed and industriousness at which the first process was remedied with.

Issued by: ANC NC Provincial Secretary: Zamani Saul

Enquiries:

Thabo Mothibi (078 006 3994)
Keitumetse Mathiba
ANC Media Liaison Officer
076 102 0830

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