Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries response to Committee oversight & BRRR, with Minister & Deputy

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

13 June 2017
Chairperson: Ms M Semenya (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

No words, not in questions and accusations from the Committee or in apologies from the Department, were spared in the meeting between the Portfolio Committee and the Department on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries that went well over its allocated time.

The long-awaited organogram was again not presented. Progress on two Bills: Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill and Marketing of Agricultural Products Amendment Bill; was also found lacking. Minister Senzeni Zokwana explained that the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill was still with National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) because, among others, the stand taken by the Mining Industry that deposits of mineral resources needs to be defined under the Bill. He explained that a study was done on the organogram the previous year, but the study still needed to focus on Fisheries as a branch and also disaster management falling under Forestry and land care. He had only seen the report the day before, which was confirmed by Deputy Minister, Mr Bheki Cele.

This was very worrisome for the Chairperson, who accused the Department of shifting the blame and having serious integration and coordination problems. She saw different members of the Department at different meetings where different things were reported. To her, the Department traveling all the way from Pretoria with the report they came with on that day would be seen as fruitless expenditure by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.  She also questioned that bonuses were paid in spite of poor performance. Deputy Minister Cele assured the Chairperson that the Department will go back to their winning ways, but not before some blood on the floor.

The Director General of the Department, Mr Mike Mlengana, said the importance of having a Foot and Mouth Disease facility could not be over-emphasised. He appealed to the Committee to assist the Department and the Agricultural Research Council in getting funding from Treasury. 

There was a problem with the long-standing issue of Amagagasoshintsho as they have a long expensive contract that will end in 2019. Amagagasoshintsho are now being shifted to the Eastern Cape. No further discussions are expected on that matter

Meeting report

Introductory Remarks
The Chairperson welcomed the Minister, Mr Senzeni Zokwana; Deputy Minister, Mr Bheki Cele; the Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), Mr Mike Mlengana; and Members of the Portfolio Committee to the meeting.
She asked everyone to stand and observe a minute of silence for victims of the fires in Knysna.

She understood the Department’s organogram, which the Committee has been waiting for, for two years was not going to be presented on that day.

Mr Mlengana explained that Members would have received a letter saying that Item 1 on the Agenda (the organogram) would not be presented.  

Updated response by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the 2016 Budgetary review and recommendation report (BRRR)

Mr Mokutule Kgobokoe, DDG: Policy, Planning & Monitoring & Evaluation led the presentation.
He said that legislative and policy review programmes should be fast-tracked to ensure the achievement of Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) outcomes and economic transformation, increased contribution to job creation and poverty eradication.

A progress report on the processing of the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill (PDALB), amendments to the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act (Act 47 of 1996) and the Perishable Products Export Control Act (Act 9 of 1983) as well as a legislative review programme was expected to have been submitted to Parliament in February 2017.

The response from DAFF was that the PDALB is currently with National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). The State Law Adviser provided an opinion on the Bill which highlights certain unconstitutional areas, and the Bill needs to be amended accordingly.  On the Perishable Products Export Control Amendment Bill served at NEDLAC on 8 May 2017, NEDLAC is convening a Task Team to consider the Bill and has set aside six months from the date of tabling to do so. The Marketing of Agricultural Products Amendment Bill is scheduled for the 2019/20 Legislative Programme. It was published in 2013, Workshops were held in 2014 with some stakeholders, but the process was suspended.

The Department was also expected to:
1. Develop a policy to ensure that 30% of its procurement and that of its entities is sourced from Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s)
2. Ensure that the Department develops a deliberate transformation policy that is aimed at fast-tracking the growth of young black scientists/researchers in the sector to replace aging specialist researchers.
3. Facilitate collaboration with the Departments of Rural Development and Land Reform, Labour, Health and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs as well as relevant Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA’s) to address the challenges facing farm workers.

The response by DAFF regarding these expectations was:
1.  The Department has implemented the Preferential Procurement Regulations as issued by National Treasury with effect from 1 April. An implementation guide was also issued.
2. A national agricultural research and development strategy was developed. The Strategy includes the need for bursaries, fellowships and research chairs. Currently the Department is contributing towards Human Capital Development through the Research and Technology Fund (RTF) and the collaboration with University Consortium. Through the programme 136 students have been supported and regarding the Consortium 23 post graduate students have been supported.
3. A report on the consolidated stakeholders report was given to Members. The report recommended that the coordination work initiated by the Presidency should continue and be strengthened.

Recommendations from the Committee for the 2016 Budget Vote Report was:
1. Ensure that DAFF develops a strong business case that will be presented to National Treasury for additional funding, highlighting the impact of the budget cuts to the sector.
2. Ensure that DAFF submits a motivation to National Treasury for additional funding for the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) to ensure the timeous completion of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) facility and other research activities. 
3. Ensure that DAFF submits a funding motivation to National Treasury for Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) for the establishment of a Vaccine Reserve/Bank to ensure the availability of vaccines in sufficient quantities at all times.

The response by DAFF was:
1. In the 2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) budget submission the budget limitations were highlighted to National Treasury.
2. On inputs received from the ARC, DAFF submitted through the augmentation window, a submission for additional funding needed for the upgrade of the FMD facility. 
3. Based on inputs received from OBP a request for additional funding was submitted in the 2016 MTEF to National Treasury to enable OBP to provide a vaccine reserve.

Ms A Steyn (DA) asked if there were a workable plan to assist farmers in bringing their produce to where it is needed in schools, hospitals and such. There was a situation in Mpumalanga where farmers had difficulty bringing their produce to the AgriParks, and asked how the Committee could assist in procurement and finding markets? She had met two young black scientists that were trained by the Department at the Gariep Dam, close to where she lives.

Regarding sector transformation, Ms Steyn brought agricultural schools and colleges to the attention of the Department and asked if there were a plan for those children, as not all of them would go to university. Is DAFF sitting with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) on this?
She thanked the Department for the information on boreholes and said she was visiting these boreholes in her spare time. She found disturbing news that she will give to the Department and the Ministers. She had a similar request regarding the general monitoring and evaluation of fencing.  Her colleagues in Limpopo did oversight on fencing where a lot of money was spent, but she did not see the Department making an effort to see what happened on ground when money was spent, which was a concern for her.
She was also concerned about a disease killing sheep in the Free State. The disease is caused by droughts and e coli in water, a lot of animals have died in the past few months and it could also affect people. Is the Department on top of that?

Mr P Maloyi (ANC) took strong exception to the presentation on the organogram having been withdrawn. That decision was taken when the presentation was done the previous evening. He told the Minister that he was worried about the Department. The Committee took a decision last year that the organogram should be submitted in November last year. Making the decision the previous day to withdrawn the presentation for that day meant something was not right. Either the Department was not taking the Committee seriously or there was a problem somewhere as engagement on the matter should have started when the decision was made last year. The first letter on the matter was sent in March or May 2016. Neither that letter nor the second one in November last year was responded to.

His next question related to the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill (PDALB). On Slide 5 it said that state law advisors highlighted certain unconstitutional areas on the Bill. How did that happen, supposing that the Department developed the Bill in collaboration with their legal team and that they consulted legal advisors before taking the bill to NEDLAC? Does this suggest that the Department went to NEDLAC before going to the State Law advisors? What are the processes, now that it is with NEDLAC? He hoped that the Bill was indeed with NEDLAC and said that if there were further delay the Committee will have to initiate their own Bill. He demanded timelines and said that if the Committee will be able to do the process quicker they should.

According to point 3 on page 6 the process (having workshops for the Marketing of Agricultural Products Amendment Bill that was published in 2013) was suspended. That took Mr Maloyi back to what he was worried about. There was no urgency in the Department or from the Minister. Somebody somewhere is not taking their responsibility seriously, otherwise there would have been progress to report on these important Bills. You cannot have a Bill for more than four years. The term of office is five years. Somebody somewhere was relaxing but the Department and the Committee was not there to be on holiday, but to work.

Mr Maloyi appealed to the Minister, as political head, to appeal to his people to take their work seriously. He said people questioned the Committee and do not understand that the delay is with the Department.

Mr H Kruger (DA) thanked the Department for their presentation. His question related to small farmers, small fisheries and small growers. There are a lot of small businesses in agriculture. Does the Department align the definition of small fisheries, for example, to the definition of small business development departments? Aligning the definitions can have a huge impact on, for instance, the 30% set aside benefit. Is the Department involved in discussions with small business development departments? 

The Chairperson said Mr Maloyi was right in raising his issues. The Department was asked to develop a plan for smallholder farmers to benefit from policies pronounced by the President. There was no plan and the Department was hiding behind regulations. The Chairperson was worried about bonuses and promotions when there was no progress and instead the Department was dragged back. How do you plan to let smallholder farmers benefit?  Members would remember from the previous Committee’s legacy reports that the Department spent R16 million to review legislation. As it is it cannot continue, but neither can the Committee keep whipping the department.

The Committee accommodates presentations to be done by DDG’s, as they are familiar with the content of the presentation, but the Department should come prepared to present what they should present. Spending what was spent by the Department to get from Pretoria to Cape Town, with the report they had on that day, would be seen by SCOPA as fruitless expenditure.

Comment from the Minister:
The Minister, Mr Senzeni Zokwana, agreed that the issue raised by Mr Maloyi was worrying. A study was done on the organogram last year. The study looked at agriculture, but fisheries still needed focus as a branch, and disaster management falling under forestry and land care also still needed to be looked at. He agreed that the Department cannot still be doing things that they were supposed to have done. He concurred to what was said about Board appointment delays. The time a Board comes to an end is known and should be acted on timeously. It cannot be said that the issues that were raised do not worry for they do. He promised that they will come back with a report in which it is dealt with.

The issue of aligning Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) policy position, as raised by Mr Kruger, will also be taken into account.

When a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is signed with a country, such as the one with China dealing with maize and fishmeal or the one with India on cork and mangoes, the Department needs to come back to see how much small-scale farmers benefited. The main area to benefit from the MOU signed on mangoes is Tzaneen in Limpopo, where mangoes rot because there is no market. A thorough report is needed.     

The Minister also agreed on the issue raised on PDALB. Amongst others the issue arose because of the stand taken by the Mining Industry that the deposit of Mineral resources needs to defined under the Bill. He took the point on why they were only informed of that problem at such a late stage and said that was something that they will come back and report on.

On the issue of 30% set aside, the Department needs to be more specific and must articulate where and how, and if it is done already. On the issue of sector transformation there has been a report submitted but the Minister agreed with asking the question where agricultural scholars end up. In the previous day’s debate, it was asked where disadvantaged black students, who benefit from funds, end up when they do not have a farm to go back to. These students, who carry basic knowledge, should be placed in productive farms. They should be paid a stipend by the Department because commercial farmers cannot be expected to pay for those students if it is not in their budgets. Those students will form part of the country’s future researchers after given experiential training. 

The Minister said the Department must come with a detailed report on boreholes and fencing that stipulates how much water is farmed from a specific borehole and who it is servicing. He suggested Ms Steyn to write to him directly and immediately when diseases crop up. When the Department’s branch on Animal Health is informed, diseases may be prevented with the use of vaccines etcetera. On the issue of fencing, you cannot plant without a fence in rural areas.

The Minister had been to a number of colleges recently. Bursaries are given to diploma students, but posts are advertised for those with a Master’s Degree. Diploma students need to be placed to be aligned with productive agriculture, a matter that has been dealt with Land Reform and Rural Development. A meeting on that matter was planned between the Department and National Treasury the next day. The areas where more funding is needed as well as the problem of being able to monitor each project were agreed upon. It has been agreed that there are three areas that needs funding especially in the advent of drought, as it presents itself in a number of variations including - no rain, abnormal climate conditions, soil erosion and winds causing fires. Evasive species need to get attention as they can cause fires. There is a need for funding and a scientific well researched argument for National Treasury. The Department would discuss the way forward.

The Minster said that if a picture was created that the Department is undermining the Committee it was not by design. The Department cannot bring answers that are not satisfactory in their own offices to the Committee. The Minister only saw the report the day before and there were clearly issues in their own department that need to be dealt with.

He apologised for the withdrawing a part of the report and said the Department respected the forum. It will not be allowed that they leave and do nothing.  A promise was made for a programme going forward. The issue of diseases will be part of the changes. The programme of vaccines should reach a later stage. The Department is not even able to mitigate why they are not having a Board. The NEDLAC process will be followed up. As Mr Maloyi has said people should be responsible for action.

The Minister also appreciated what the Chairperson had said as the 5% that was paid in bonuses should not be a right but only paid when certain performances are achieved. He agreed that the person answerable is the one appointed by the President and no one else. Their presentation on that day may have given the view that the Department only answers so that they have answers. The Minister pleaded with the Committee to take the Department’s apology and said the Department will make sure that the situation of that day is not repeated.

Mr Maloyi said the question about the NEDLAC timetable was not answered.

The Minister answered that they will go back and check but the day before they were told that what is lacking is another negotiation of the views of the state law advisors because of the objection from the Mining Industry. The danger was in negotiations dampening the spirit of PDALB when processes override the intention PDALB is being built on. The Minister promised that they will come back with an answer. They will then also report on why a proposal on the matter has not been activated.

In closing the BRRR matter the Chairperson said that BRRR is parliamentary resolutions, which are why the Speaker communicates with the Minister. It was up to the Committee to see the resolutions being implemented. The processes of Parliament should be taken very seriously. The cycles of government should be understood and the timeframe should be managed. The situation was an embarrassment. 

Mr C Mathale (ANC) said Parliament does not exclude the Minister. The Minister was Parliament and if he undermines Parliament he therefore undermines himself.            
Mr Maloyi said there were two areas that were not reported on. A report on the Audit Action Plan was expected on a quarterly basis. He expected to be told that systems have been established. The second area was the impact of the funded targets. Lastly, he wanted the Minister to disclose the amount that was paid to the service provider that submitted the reconfigured organogram in to the Department in December 2015 so that the Committee can establish if there was value for money. Somebody was sleeping and that somebody must wake up.

Ms Steyn said that was exactly what she had said five years ago when they were dealing with the exact same thing. The Department and the Committee are not moving. Something was wrong.

The Chairperson said she did not want to go there but she was going to say that something is wrong. At some point the Department was moving forward but now they were moving backwards. She suggested that video footage from the time the Minister was being congratulated for moving forward should be obtained as that can help the Department.

 Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on outstanding issues:
Again, Mr Mokutule Kgobokoe, DDG: Policy, Planning & Monitoring & Evaluation led the presentation.

The outstanding issues included:

1. The Committee needed to be updated on the registration of Animal Health Technicians (AHT’s) with the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries communication channels to stakeholders on notifiable animal diseases.
2. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries should ensure that workshops are arranged to train extension officers in all provinces on the Fall Armyworm so that they can effectively assist farmers in dealing with the outbreak.
3. To provide an explanation on why Amagagasoshintsho was appointed on 1 April 2016, three months before the expiry on the KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife contract while a month after the appointment has been made, the DDG of Fisheries reported and assured the Committee on 24 May 2016 that DAFF will no longer use service providers to service small scale fishers in KZN but will open an office and appoint a Deputy Director and other officials to handle fisheries issues in KwaZulu-Natal.

The response from DAFF included:
1. AHT’s are registered with SAVC under the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act, 1982. There are a number of AHT’s who cannot be registered because their qualifications are not recognised. The SAVC allowed them to do an 18 month programme at Tsolo College of Agriculture after which 82 sat the examination which 30 passed. The remainder has to rewrite the exam that will take place in September 2017.
2. A Fall Armyworm Steering Committee (FAWSC) was initiated and is chaired by Plant Health Early Warning systems. During the past months, regular extension support awareness and training meetings were arranged by the provincial departments.
3. The Department is still trying to find an amicable and workable way to resolve Amagagasoshintsho’s contract as requested by the Committee.

During the presentation, Mr Maloyi said the presentation was not only for Members of the Committee, but for members of the public as well. He asked the DDG to not only refer them to annexures that was given to members. The DGG replied that Mr Maloyi was quite right.

The Chairperson also wanted the Climate Change presentation, which was referred to, to be presented in full.  A short briefing was given by Mr Elder Mtshiza, Chief Director: Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) from an annexure on Integrated Development Funding.

Mr Mlengana went through Annexure L (DAFF timeframes for proposals presented to the Portfolio Committee on 31 January 2017 with regard to grievances raised by community representatives). He said that all coastal areas should have fishing offices to have access to fisheries personnel and it was very important to have transparent communication in fisheries. An Indaba was needed.

The importance of having a Foot and Mouth Disease facility could not be over-emphasized. He appealed to the Committee to assist the Department and the Agriculture Research Council (ARC) in getting funding from Treasury. 

Climate change could also not be over-emphasised. The drought has brought an awakening.

On farmer support, there was now consolidation between different departments (such as the Department on Rural Development) on a funding model.

In conclusion Mr Mlengana said that the Department hde taken note of what the Committee said. He took responsibility and said he did not want to come before them again to hear what he failed to do. He was happy everyone was there to hear the message directly.
Mr Mathale thanked the DG for the presentation. He was approached by the Divers and Fishers Forum from the Eastern Cape who was promised an amount of fish in the financial year. However, the permit was not issued yet and the months to use it in were getting fewer and fewer.

Ms Steyn thanked the Chairperson and the Department for all the documentation. In some documents that were not covered on that day there was a report on MAFISA in which it was mentioned that the integrated finance policy was not finalised because of stakeholders not being available. Who were these stakeholders? Discussions on this matter have come from at least two years ago. When will it, being a conditional grant, come to a point if people do not come to the meeting? Linked to that - the last documents that the Committee received on MAFISA was in March 2014. Is there no funding for MAFISA available currently? What funding are smallholder farmers getting at the moment?
Ms Steyn read the drought report which spoke of six million people being affected and nine million still being vulnerable. That was in December last year, and asked if an update was available? The country is still faced with drought. She did not want to get into the query about what happened to the funds of the current drought but said that was why she was chasing the boreholes – because she believed the country is wasting money. In practice, what is being done about the drought?

Regarding farmer registration, the Capricorn plan was completed in 2012. Problems then arose in 2016. If money is given to provinces why are there blockages that the Department cannot move forward? Having a farmer register was very important, she believed that names from a telephone register were received by the Committee in the past.

Back on the drought, she asked how it was possible that Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) can come back to the Department of Local Government and say that R350 million was not spent in that year on disaster management because no-one asked for it. What are we doing on the current drought? The Northern Cape has not had rain, animals are dying and still the Committee is given a document that makes it look like the drought is over.

Mr Maloyi suggested to the Department to refresh their presentation regarding the matter of regulations on traditional African Beer and the appeal process saying that the Committee has interacted with legal team. The matter has been dealt with.

On page 16 he said that the Department seems to be wasting money in training experts (extension officers). Why were they not trained in the past? What is the explanation?

On page 19 he asked for briefing on the court case between the South African Pork Producers Organisation (SAPPO) and the Department. Is it still before court of law of has it been concluded? More than saying “the Veterinary Procedural Notice (VPN) is not bypassed” is needed. Is the matter still before the court of law?

On page 30 he said that the decision that Amagagasoshintsho should be terminated was taken a long time ago. The response is now that the Department is trying to find an amicable way to do that. Was the Committee misled when they were told that Amagagasoshintsho is no longer needed? Serious problems are being created unless there are serious contractual obligations that the Department cannot get out of. Why is it so difficult to terminate this contract? This issue has been raised in many meetings and it cannot be raised forever.

Ms Steyn said she was happy to hear that the Department wants to look at the boreholes, but that that should have happened a long time ago. The Department has money is set aside for monitoring and evaluation.

The Chairperson said she expected workers from Amagagasoshintsho to have been redeployed. The Department must report on productive elements and how they are supporting the poor, that are unable to get food, in the rural areas. The Department must help the Committee by not reporting backwards to them while they are reporting well and positively when there are other departments around. On the issue of the provinces, it must be said for the last time that the Department applied for a conditional grant and that National Treasury has the right to demand a report on how the money is used. Small scale farmers must be developed, starting from crèche and if the grant is not enough then the Department should be able to explain to Treasury, for they want to know that the gap is being closed regarding aging farmers. 

The Chairperson said that the issues raised by Ms Steyn on drought and climate change are critical. What will the implementation plan be in supporting and building resistance on the ground and the sustainability of communities? She suspected that in the future, when the Department is called to report in front of officials from the President on the matter of food security or the matter of Operation Phakisa these issues will not feature. Different members of the Department even come to the different meetings and there is no integration or coordination in the Department. Climate Change cannot be run by only one sector in the Department. The Food and Security plan must include a plan on subsistence farmers that has been affected by drought. She accused the Department of shifting the blame. Regarding empowering smallholders, the policy framework from Ministry on how the previous disadvantaged is going to be empowered should include all sectors such as farmers, fishers et cetera.

The Chairperson asked the Department to respond to the specific questions and said the issue of the problem of coordination and integration in the Department should be discussed in the next presentation. Perhaps a Chairperson of Chairpersons is needed to deal with this and get all the departments in the programmes together to be able to get answers.

Lastly on the issue of provinces the Chairperson said that the Department was supposed to approve a business plan but in the in the process the provinces change his mind. Why is the Department not acting? She referred to a disabled group in Limpopo that grew cabbages and were promised help on irrigation – but nothing has happened. The group is now writing to the President with the support of the Chairperson. Such situations cannot be.

Boreholes cannot be drilled without the involving the community and the Department must develop better strategies on the evaluating the people that are benefitting. There are a lot of challenges in society and people have their own minds and can continuously push toward confusion. The Department must do the right things and assist communities. There are farms being bought without water licences and the little money that is taken to provinces is not assisting because of the huge load of the work that must be done on the farms.  Another problem is farms that are bought as maize farms are changed into pig farms, for example. Deviations on farming produce should only be based on research from Climate Change reports, for example.

Mr Maloyi asked the Department to be specific in answering the questions.

Deputy Minister Cele said the Minister took a lot of flak that day and the day before. He said the documents are seen by the Committee before him and the Minister saw the documents. There was a time the Committee and the Department left the meetings smiling. Why should he come here with things – such as Amagagasoshintsho – they do not agree with. Amagagasoshintsho was put there after the Department was told to change. There was no business to have them. Perhaps one problem was that officials do not go to communities like the ministers do. The previous Friday they visited communities where the issue of Amagagasoshintsho was discussed. A household headed by a sixteen-year-old was found. How can one say to such a household that they should go hungry for two years? The matter was with internal discussions. It was useless giving answers that some of them did not agree with.
Regarding Mr Mathale’s question on the divers, the divers came with women who were having problems on other things and the Minister was to give them experimental diving. As the Minister left, the divers chased the women away. Two months ago, a good workshop was held with them. Fishing licences in all provinces should be pushed and done quickly.

Deputy Minister Cele assured the Chairperson that the Department will go back to their winning ways – but not before some blood on the floor.

Mr Mlengana answered that provincial performance was based on business plans that were agreed on.
With regards to Amagagasoshintsho there was indeed a problem with the documents and they have a long expensive contract that will end in 2019. Amagagasoshintsho are now being shifted to the Eastern Cape. That will happen soon. There will be an office in KwaZulu-Natal and military veterans are sought to man the office. No further discussions are expected on that matter.
The major challenge for the farmer register was data management. The Department has budgeted for that and is expecting assistance from National Treasury.
Regarding the drought, smallholder farmers went to the media saying that Agri SA has no right to speak on their behalf - which is the major component of why the situation is the way it is now. The Department can account for every cent of the R210 million that was spent on the drought and the rumours were because the country likes the word “corrupt”.

There is too much maize on the fields. All black people in Gauteng must come together and produce chicks to replace Rainbow. That will be a game changer like the one to establish feedlots that is going well.

MAFISA was problematic. Only R10 million is left from the R1 billion that was there. The Department is looking into where the money was spent and chasing the companies that can pay it back.  

Mr Mlengana felt ashamed that the Ministers did not get the documents and said that that was a problem he faced. The Department will go back to basics. They have dropped the ball when Mr Mlengana shouted and wrote letters saying he will not be fired because of that.

Mr Mlengana said he has never appeared in any newspaper because his morals come from his mother.

The Department needs an integrated funding model and meetings in that regard were already held with various stakeholders. Once provinces are aligned to Annual Performance Plans (APP’s) capacity should not be forgotten. Things must be implemented by those who understand which is why extension officers on commodities, in particular soil, structure and analysis, should be trained. At this point the Department is fighting with National Treasury and the Department of Rural Development about whether the plans put in front of the Committee will happen. Mr Mlengana was not sure that resources are put where needed.  They would that night prepare in detail for a meeting with the departments he mentioned that is going to be held the next day. Those departments must understand that not funding DAFF will come down to a national disaster in terms of achieving objectives.

The Chairperson said it is important for all to understand their role. Everyone should understand the cycle and the system of government. The same issues cannot arise in the next meeting. The documents should be seen. Learning is over now and things must be done right. The Department is messing with the Committee because they had nothing to take to Parliament to present and debate for three consecutive meetings.

Ms Steyn said the people sitting behind were apparently the fishers that chased the women away. They had driven all the way from the Eastern Cape. A report in writing was needed.

The meeting was adjourned.

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