NERPO Press Releases

AFASA'S REACTION TO RURAL DEVELOPEMENT 2013 BUDGET VOTE AND POLICY SPEECH

31 May 2013

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Assembly, Cape Town

AFASA COMMENDS MINISTER NKWINTI FOR A 'PRODUCTIVITY CENTRED' LAND REFORM PROGRAMME.

In reaction to the 2013 Policy and Budget Vote Speech on Rural Development and Land Reform tabled by Minister Gugile Nkwinti in the National Assembly on Friday morning, the Secretary-General of the African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA), Mr. Aggrey Mahanjana has commended government for its decision to "measure the success of land reform based on productivity and not the size and quantity of the agricultural land restored to black commercial farmers."

Minister Nkwinti told Parliament that his Department's strategic objective is to ensure that "all land reform farms should be 100% productive by the year 2015/16."

He said "the class of black commercial farmers which was destroyed by the Natives Land Act of 1913" needed to be rekindled.

AFASA also commended the Minister for successfully implementing the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP).

"AFASA believes that government's expeditious and decisive implementation of the CRDP, paves way to a conducive environment for sustainable growth of rural farming. Infrastructure Development programmes such as building and refurbishing of rural access roads, water, fencing and provision of electricity and other energy resources and subsidies will not only lower the cost of doing business, it will enhance production capacity of communal and rural black commercial farmers". Mahanjana argued.

South Africa's official representative and unitary body of smallholder farmers, has welcomed the 2013 Budget Vote on Rural Development and Land Reform with emphasis on the following areas and programmes:

-governement's recommiment to ensure that land tenure and access to productive agricutural land remains a priority;

-institutional capacity building to ensure that government's policy and programmes are implemented properly and expediciously;

-R2.7 billion investment for acquistion of 170 000 hactares and recapitalization of an additional 552 land reform farms;

-R220 million which is set aside for animal improveemnt and veld management;

-Allocation of R462 million agricultural value chain investments in poultry, airy and fruit and vegetables industries; and

-R70 million allocated for roads and bridges across the country.

However AFASA has appealed to Minister Nkwinti, to ensure that mechanisms are put in place to strenthen and fast-track implementation of the department's programmes.

Ends.

Enquiries:
Mr. Aggrey Mahanjana
AFASA Secretary-General
Tel: +27 (0) 12 348 8566
Cell: +27 (0) 82 556 7297

OR

Siyabulela Makunga
Marketing & Corporate Communications Consultant
P.O. Box 27985, Sunnyside, 0132
No 344 Chappies Street, Lynnwood, Pretoria
Cell: +27 (0) 72 768 0238
Fax: +27 (0) 86 525 2219