The Committee met to adopt a briefing by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) on its revised five year strategic plan. The Department described its five programmes for the financial year and also highlighted the strategic goals for each programme.
The first programme related to corporate governance and service excellence, with strategic objectives of compliance with all public sector legal prescripts and an unqualified regularity audit opinion. Programme 2 addressed improved land administration for integrated and sustainable growth and development, with strategic objectives of improving spatial planning and providing an integrated and comprehensive land administration system. The third programme identified aims to promote equitable access to and sustainable use of land for development with three objectives -- infrastructure development to support the rural economy, provision of support and development to rural enterprises and industries, and job creation and skills development in rural areas. Programme 4 addressed the restoration of land rights, while programme 5 was targeted at the promotion of equitable access to, and sustainable use of, land for development. The strategic objectives of this programme included promoting equitable land redistribution and agricultural development, the provision of comprehensive farm development support, and implementing functional systems and institutional arrangements.
The Department provided details of its various programmes. It aimed to facilitate the payment of invoices within 30 days of receipt across all provinces. It planned to implement a total of 15 rural development programmes in districts, register 982 241 title deeds, make 95% of deeds available within seven days from lodgement to execution, produce and review 199 national map series, and also to process registrable diagrams, sectional plans, and general plans within 14 working days across all provinces. It would facilitate 252 projects covering animal and veld management programmes, socio-economic and river catalytic programmes, 47 agri-park infrastructure projects, and would support 115 agricultural enterprises and 50 non-agricultural enterprises in the 44 priority districts. The department aimed to provide 10 000 skills development opportunities, 6 020 jobs in rural development initiatives, and also to recruit 2 700 youths through the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) programme. There was also a plan to settle 615 and finalise 454 land claims, and approve 90 phased projects and research 1 530 claims lodged by 1998.
The land reform programme involved acquiring 83 074 hectares, allocating 41 492 hectares to smallholder farmers and 16 008 hectares to farm dwellers, and also settling 145 labour tenant applications. Nine Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) farms had been identified for incubation and training purposes. There were plans to train 1 755 farmers, and to place 168 new and 183 existing farms under a recapitalization and development programme. There are also targets to support 207 communal property associations towards compliance with legislation, confirm 773 state land parcels as vested, and complete the immovable asset register. A detailed project register revealing the footprints of projects across the provinces was presented to the Committee, and the budget allocations were also broken down by province.
The Chairperson said late submission of the voluminous presented documents had hampered the active engagement of Members. Questions arose from the challenges around the scheduling of mobile claims buses, the Department’s plans to ensure the sustainability of the rural economy, the mitigation of the effects of climate, as well as clarification of statistics depicted in the report.
The Department apologised for the late submission of the documents pertaining to the report. Clarifications were also made that the rural economy remained a priority of the Department and that deviations of claims buses from schedules would be investigated and a detailed report forwarded to the Committee.
The budget vote 39 and annual performance plan (APP) of the DRLDR was adopted by the Committee.
Briefing by Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
Ms Leona Archary, Acting Director General (ADG), Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) presented the five programmes for the current financial year, as well as the corresponding strategic goals for each programme.
The only strategic goal for programme 1 was corporate governance and service excellence. The two linked strategic objectives were total compliance with all public sector legal prescripts, and obtaining a clean regularity audit opinion on financial and non-financial performance by 2020.
The second programme was identified as improved land administration for integrated and sustainable growth and development. The department planned to improve spatial planning and land use management in all provinces through the application of relevant legislation by 2020. The plan of the Department was to facilitate an integrated and comprehensive land administration system by 2020 to enable the promotion of sustainable growth and development.
The first objective of programme 3 was to ensure infrastructure development to support the rural economy in order to help contribute towards improved rural livelihoods. The second objective was the provision of support to rural enterprises and development of rural industries to assist in contributing to the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) initiatives. The third objective was job creation and skills development in rural areas to assist in the reduction of unemployment in these areas.
Highlighted as programme 4, was the restoration of land rights to ensure equitable land dispensation and agrarian reform.
The fifth programme of the Department was to promote equitable access to and sustainable use of land for development. This would assure that the lands acquired for agricultural purposes were productively used and would contribute towards economic development and food security, ensure development support to smallholder farmers and land reform beneficiaries for agrarian transformation, and would also check that systems were fully functional and that there were institutional arrangements for land administration.
While describing each programme, she affirmed that programme 1 aimed to facilitate the payment of invoices within 30 days of receipt across all provinces. As regards programme 2, the Department’s goal was to implement a total of 15 rural development plans in districts (mostly in the Northern and Western Provinces). It planned to register 982 241 title deeds, make 95% of deeds available within seven days from lodgement to execution, planned to produce and review 199 national map series, and also aimed to process registrable diagrams, sectional plans, and general plans within 14 working days across all provinces. As regards programme 3, she revealed a plan to facilitate 252 projects covering animal and veld management programmes, socio-economic and river catalytic programmes. The Department also planned to facilitate 47 agri-park infrastructure projects and support 115 agricultural enterprises and 50 non-agricultural enterprises in the 44 priority districts. It aimed to provide 10 000 skills development opportunities and 6 020 jobs in rural development initiatives, and also recruit 2 700 youths through the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) programme.
Programme 4 included plans to settle 615 and finalise 454 land claims. The Department also aimed to approve 90 phased projects and research 1 530 claims lodged by 1998.
According to the last programme of the Department (land reform), the plan was to acquire a total of 83 074 hectares -- mostly in the Eastern and Northern Capes -- and allocate 41 492 hectares to smallholder farmers, allocate 16 008 hectares to farm dwellers, and also to settle 145 labour tenant applications.
Ms Archary identified a total of nine Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) farms for the incubation and training of youths, as well as agricultural graduates and NARYSEC participants. She also disclosed a plan to train 1 755 farmers, create 1 755 jobs, and place 168 new and 183 existing farms under recapitalization and development programmes. The Department’s target was to support 207 communal property associations (CPA’s) towards compliance with legislation. It also planned to confirm 773 state land parcels as vested, and complete the immovable asset register.
The budget allocation per programme and province revealed that a larger share of the budget had been allocated to financial services relating to programme 1, and KwaZulu-Natal had been allocated a greater portion of the allocations for provincial coordination. For programme 2, a total of R636.649 million had been allocated for NGMS, and R181.264 million had been allocated for Spatial Planning and Land Use Management (SPLUM). For the department’s third program, R425.983 million had been allocated for Rural Infrastructure Development (RID), with R906.544 million and R581.840 million allocated for Rural Enterprise and Industrial Development (REID) and NARYSEC respectively. As regards land restitution, R217.546 million had been allocated to the national office and a total of R2.951 billion to regional offices. For the fifth programme, R2.066 billion had been allocated to land redistribution and development, R688.776 million to land tenure and administration, and R7 million to the office of the Valuer-General. The current allocations were based on the achievements from the previous financial year.
As regards the project registers per province, there were rural development plans for six provinces -- Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Western Cape and Free State. Various socio-economic infrastructure projects had been implemented across four provinces -- Eastern Cape (14 projects), Limpopo (10 projects), Gauteng (six projects), and KwaZulu-Natal (three projects).
Ms Archary revealed the animal and veld management programmes in six provinces, which included five programmes in Eastern Cape Province, three in Gauteng, six in KwaZulu-Natal, nine in Limpopo and 24 in the Free State (mostly water projects). There were river catalytic projects across three provinces -- the Eastern Cape (three projects), KZN (one project) and Limpopo (five projects). While presenting the agri-park footprints across the provinces, she highlighted a total of two projects in the Eastern Cape, four in Limpopo, three in Gauteng, seven in the Free State (mostly in the Mangaung Metro area), seven in thew Western Cape (mostly in the Cape winelands and central Karoo area), five projects in the Northern Cape, four in the North West province, nine in KwaZulu-Natal and five projects in Mpumalanga.
As regards the agricultural enterprises supported in the 44 priority districts, there were nine projects across all district municipalities in Eastern Cape, 16 in the Gauteng province (mostly in the City of Tshwane area), 44 across all areas in KwaZulu-Natal, and 11 (mostly in the Capricon area) across Limpopo province. As for the non-agricultural enterprises supported in the 44 priority districts, seven projects were highlighted in Eastern Cape, two in Gauteng, 11 in Limpopo (mostly in the Waterberg area), and 12 projects in KwaZulu-Natal (mostly in Ilembe).
Ms Archary also confirmed the annual target of 10 000 skills development initiatives for the financial year. Ten projects would be implemented across all district municipalities in the Eastern Cape and two would be implemented in Gauteng to enable the Department to achieve its mandate. With respect to creation of jobs in rural development initiatives, she explained that 13 projects would be implemented in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces to create jobs.
As an overview of projects in programme 4 (restoration of land rights), she highlighted four projects in the Free State, 26 in Northwest (mainly in the Bojanala area), 23 in Limpopo, 13 in Gauteng (mostly in the City of Tshwane area), 21 in the Northern Cape, and a tangible number of 80 projects in Mpumalanga province (mainly in Gert Sibande, Nkangala and Enhlanzeni areas).
In project 5 -- the promotion of equitable access to and sustainable use of land for development -- projects to acquire hectares per province were 13 for Limpopo, 12 for the Free State, 34 for KZN, 40 for Mpumalanga, 28 for North West, 36 for Gauteng, 11 for the Northern Cape, 11 for Limpopo, and eight projects in the Eastern Cape. The number of communal property associations supported to be compliant with legislation amounted to 10 in the Western Cape, 28 in Limpopo, 30 in KZN, and five in Gauteng. The ADG also affirmed that 25 land parcels had been confirmed as vested in Limpopo province.
Ms E Prins (ANC, Eastern Cape) suggested that the details of various projects conducted by the Department should be forwarded to the Committee.
Mr J Julius (DA, Gauteng) sought clarity on the statistics published under annual targets, asking if they were annual performances or distributions across provinces. He also inquired if the mobile lodgement claims buses were running according to their respective schedules as he claimed there were instances in the past where the buses ran contrary to published schedules. He then advised that land claims should not be politicised by the Department.
The Chairperson inquired about the Department’s plan to ascertain the sustainability of the rural economy and the mitigation of the effects of climate change, especially in cases where some districts relied solely on animal husbandry. He asked if any previous interventions had been made in this regard by the Department. He also lamented the late submission of the voluminous report to the Committee, pointing out that Members had not been able to peruse the document, which consequently had limited participation in meaningful engagements.
Ms Archary apologised for the late submission of the report. She said that the details of all the projects had been furnished to the Committee and were all reflected in the project register. She clarified that the presentation covered the annual performance plan as well as the breakdown per province, and it reflected the intended achievements of the Department in the current financial year.
The rural economy was a key objective of the Department, including an animal husbandry programme, land rehabilitation, agri-parks which were aimed at production, facilitation of market access, and enterprise development. In conjunction with Department of Science and Technology, the DRDLR had implemented training programmes for rural communities in areas such as disaster management, alien species removal, fire outbreaks, waste management and flood management.
Mr Eugene Southgate, Deputy Director General: Corporate Support Services (CSS), DRDLR, confirmed that the mobile claims bus schedules published on the website were up to date and buses were running as scheduled. The communication strategy was to place notices in newspapers and on the website to inform the communities of the mobile claims buses’ schedules. He promised that reports of previous deviations from schedules would be investigated and furnished to the Committee.
Ms Archary confirmed that the Department served the government in all its mandates and there were no attempts to politicise mandates.
The Chairperson mentioned that other questions from Committee Members would be submitted to the Department, after which a written response was required within 5 days of submission to enable the Committee to have enough tangible information to prepare for the budget vote debate. He thanked representatives from the Department and Committee Members for their active engagements.
Adoption of Plan
The budget vote 39 and annual performance plan (APP) of DRLDR was adopted by the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Department of Rural Development and Land Reform 2016/17 Annual Performance Plan
- Committee Report on Budget Vote & Annual Performance Plan 2016/2017 of Department of Rural Development and Land Reform – Budget Vote No 39
- Department of Rural Development and Land Reform 2016/17 Project Registers per Province presentation
- Department of Rural Development and Land Reform 2016/17 Annual Performance Plan presentation
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