Committee Report on Knysna oversight visit

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

06 September 2017
Chairperson: Ms M Semenya (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Documents handed out: Committee Report on Knysna oversight visit [All Committee reports available under Tabled Committee Reports once published]

In a brief meeting the draft oversight report on the visit to Knysna was adopted with amendments. Amongst others, the recommendations included:

-DAFF, including other relevant departments such as the Department on Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) should finalise the disaster assessment report by end of August 2017 to ensure that Government responds rapidly to the disaster particularly with respect to provision of assistance to farmers to safeguard food security.

- DAFF should present to the Committee a progress report on the assistance that has been given to affected farmers before the end of October 2017.

The objective of the visit to Knysna on 21 June 2017 was to: 

- Assess the impact on farmers and farm workers, of the fires that broke out in the Garden Route area of the Western Cape.

- Assess the extent of damage to farms and agriculture infrastructure.

- Determine how government is responding to the disaster.

Meeting report

The meeting immediately followed a joint meeting that was held by the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Portfolio Committee of Women in the Presidency and the Multi-Party Caucus.

Committee Report on Oversight Visit to Knysna

The Chairperson explained that the Committee’s visit to Knysna came after the area suffered from devastating fires earlier this year.

The objectives of the visit were to:

- Assess the impact on farmers and farm workers

- Assess the extent of damage to farms and agriculture infrastructure

- Determine how government is responding to the disaster.

The Chairperson assumed that the report was read.

She read the recommendations that read that:  

 - DAFF, including other relevant departments such as the Department on Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) should finalise the disaster assessment report by end of August 2017 to ensure that Government responds rapidly to the disaster particularly with respect to provision of assistance to farmers to safeguard food security.

- DAFF should present to the Committee a progress report on the assistance that has been given to affected farmers before the end of October 2017.

- The Minister should ensure that there are enough resources and capacity for DAFF to effectively implement the National Veld and Forest Fire Act (Act No. 101 of 1998) which mandates, inter alia, that DAFF ensures that all property owners create firebreaks and further monitors this to mitigate and prevent the spread of veld and forest fires.

- DAFF should take note of the model that has been used by the Western Cape Government in managing the disaster so that future outbreaks of veld and forest fires and other related disasters can be effectively and speedily addressed.

The Chairperson said that on the first point “government” should be added. It is Cabinet that declares disaster areas. She also said that the last recommendation must be removed.

The Chairperson asked if the report can be adopted.

Mr N Capa (ANC) moved for the adoption of the report with amendments. He was seconded by the Chairperson.

The Chairperson thanked everyone.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

 

 

Documents

No related documents

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