The Committee met with the Department of Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) to discuss the Annual Performance Plans (APPs) and Budgets of the respective Departments in the presence of the Minister.
The Minister briefed the Committee ahead of the presentations. Her address spoke to priorities of the Sixth Administration as highlighted in the President’s State of the Nation Address, new configurations of the Departments, working with the provinces and entities reporting to the Department. The Minister also spoke to the concept of agri-parks, restitution and communal properties.
The DRDLR presented its Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) indicators, targets, achievements made between April 2014 and April 2019 and reasons for variance. The presentation then delved into the programmes of the Department namely, administration, national geomatics management services, rural development, restitution and land reform. The presentation outlined the performance indicators, per strategic objective, estimated performance for 2018/19 and medium term targets for each of the Department’s programmes, namely, administration, geospatial and cadastral services, rural development, restitution and land reform. The Department then also presented its 2019/20 provincial allocations, economic classification per province, Rural Infrastructure and Development (RID) projects per province, National Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) projects per province, restitution projects per province, Land Redistribution and Development (LRD) projects per province, Land Tenure and Administration (LTA) projects per province, transfers to the departmental agencies, allocations for restitution per province and the Agricultural Land Holding Account (ALHA).
DAFF presented its APP looking at MTSF priorities, sector priorities, contributing targets for the final 2014 – 2019 cycle and strategic goals and strategic objectives. The presentation also covered performance indicators, estimated performance and medium term targets for the departmental programmes namely, agricultural production, health and food safety, food security and agrarian reform, trade promotion and market access, forestry and natural resources management, fisheries management and administration.
The Committee then raised questions on the distribution of government-owned land, as stated by the President, reinstatement of tribal land, variations in the one-house-one-hectare project, provincial registry of farms and farmers benefiting from the provisional grants and ring fencing od specific conditional grants. Members wanted to know what the Department was doing in terms of recovery of abalone, West Coast Rock Lobster and depleted fishing stock, the Land use Mater Plan and the target on percentage of deeds made available in seven days.
The Committee emphasised the importance of market access so that farmers could make a living off their production and asked the Department what it was doing to increase this market access. Some of the land was highly productive but the Department was not doing enough to support the farmers with transport and market access and so improve economic development. This is a simple way of empowering these communities but this is not seen
Members raised questions and concerns around market access in tribal areas, Land Release, Agri-Parks, policing of Abalone poaching, reactionary approaches to biosecurity and the challenges around the restructuring of the Departments. There was further concern around the reconfiguration of the departments and the impact on staff and service delivery, increased urban development taking over prime agricultural land, stalled projects and strengthening proactive responses to biosecurity threats.
The Committee then adopted its reports on the 2019/20 Annual Performance Plan and Budget Vote 39 and 24 of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries respectively without amendment.
Committee minutes dated 16 July 2019 were adopted without amendments.
Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform, Ms Thoko Didiza, began by tendering the apologies of Deputy Ministers Sdumo Dlamini and Mcebisi Skwatsha. The Minister began by mentioning the seven priorities of the Sixth Administration for government to focus on as highlighted in the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) – of these priorities, what was relevant is the role of land, agricultural and rural development in contributing to the economy as well as job creation. Another focus was land as a multifaceted function to support economic growth as well as social development in terms of the speedy release of land for human settlement as well as agricultural development.
The Annual Performance Plans (APPs) to be presented today would still reflect what was agreed to vis-a-vis the old Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR). The new configuration, as led by the Presidency and Public Service Commission, will mean the Forestry and Fisheries component of DAFF will migrate to the Department of Environmental Affairs which will now be known as the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry. The Minister has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Minister Barbara Creecy to manage the migration in terms of decision making and operations. Two teams are working on an administrative level to delineate staff and budget. In the process, labour is being engaged. The old Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Land Reform are also working together. Looking at the Departments, it was clear there were areas of duplication and overlap – alignment of these areas is being investigated to meaningfully support the sector. It was seen that some of the entities and units within DRDLR dealt with agricultural matters. These are the areas of alignment which would be focused on.
Minister Didiza said that land is a national function while agriculture is a concurrent function. On a national level, matters of policy, international relations, exports and imports are dealt with while farmer support is a provincial function. It was agreed that a strong intergovernmental system be set up to reach consensus on policy alignment and critical areas needed for national support of provinces. By way of example, while provinces have the competence of agriculture, if there is a disease outbreak in one province, it can spread to other provinces and if there is not a strong veterinary defence, it could influence national trade and export. This was seen last year during the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Part of the responsibility of national government is to keep tabs on provinces in terms of the investment in resources etc. There would be engagement with Treasury to ensure the Department is adequately supported in such scenarios as raised in the example of foot and mouth disease. Biosecurity is a very important area of the Department’s work because of the risk involved in plant and animal health in the country and managing the entry of food at the ports.
Entities reporting to the Department are critical to supporting the work of the Department. A critical area of focus for the Department is transforming the deeds registry to record the land rights in SA – the Department would look at developing policy for this transformation. This would be supported by tenure legislation in the case of unrecorded rights in communal areas. The Surveyor-General is also important across government in terms of delineation of land and borders. The Office of the Valuer-General is an important statutory instrument to look at matters of public and public interest valuation – there were constraints and concerns relating to land prices in terms of restitution. Due to the current lack of capacity in that Office, it has had an effect on the speedy settlement of claims. The legislation states all land bought for land reform purposes must be valued by the Office of the Valuer-General. This has resulted in some delays and reduction in the target in this regard. The Department would focus on capacitating the Office and the role of the Office in terms of whether it makes the final decision or makes recommendations.
Minister Didiza outlined the four entities reporting to the Department, namely, National Agricultural Marketing Council (advise the Ministry on market opportunities and market constraints when designing policy for farmers), Onderstepoort Biological Products (producing vaccines for animals), Agricultural Research Council (produce agricultural research in terms of new developments to enable government to be on the cutting edge of agricultural science to support the agricultural economy) and Perishable Products Export Council (works closely with farmers in export preparations in terms of certification of perishable products). The Agricultural Research Council has recently responded to the drought situation in SA by producing a drought-resistant maize seed to assist communities in water-scare areas.
Minister Didiza said there would be strengthening of the monitoring of provincial transfers. Part of the role of the NCOP is to work with provinces and municipalities. A constraint raised with the Department, in terms of the division of revenue and comprehensive agricultural support programme, was provinces not doing what are expected of them in terms of such programmes. It has since been decided that dedicated capacity would be built into having resident monitoring teams in the provinces to physically assess what is happening in the provinces. This would ensure immediate intervention when there are deviations. Agriculture, rural development and land reform would be closely aligned in the provinces to ensure farmers are supported.
With the concept of agri-parks, this critical intervention was developed to change the rural landscape, with a focus on the districts, to create a system to support agricultural production in a concerted way. The idea was to have a service centre to support various areas such as mechanisation, input supply, processing, storage etc – this would enable a big hub to support agricultural interventions. This financial year, 27 food production support units would be identified to work with farmers. Regarding identification of the 27, there was a meeting yesterday with the teams to begin this work. Any food production unit must have at least four critical personnel which would be resident to work with farmers on a daily basis, namely, veterinary services, plant health services, vaccine services and management of resources of the centre. Each of the centres would have mechanisation support and functional services to manage this area when required. It is also important to work with commodity organisations to assist with advisory information such as information relating to marketing the commodity.
Minister Didiza then spoke to restitution noting that apart from targets set, the remaining claims lodged since 1998, after promulgation of the Land Restitution Act, there is a challenge in negotiating with the claimants about choices. Other challenging factors include proving claims and making valuations. An example was in Umtata where part of the city is being claimed. With complex claims, the process would be slower. This was a reality the Committee should appreciate when engaging with the Department. There are also legacy challenges with some of the claims. Other claims were done in phases where the matter was complex.
With the Communal Property Association (CPA), when the legislation was put in place, this was to assist communities who received land in groups to assist in having a holding/trust for management of the land on behalf of the communities. There are difficulties in the functioning of the CPAs, as Members well know. Often the CPAs do not understand their fiduciary responsibilities to the community and there is no consultation with the communities on how the land should be governed. The former Minister crafted legislation to outline the responsibilities of the CPAs and that of the state – a challenge is that the state has not been given the capacity to intervene on behalf of the community when required. When the state had tried to intervene, it was told it had no jurisdiction. There is a unit working with the CPA trustees so that they know their work. There is also work happening with the communities so that they can hold the CPAs accountable – the Minister was honest in saying this was not an easy matter.
Department of Rural Development and Land Reform 2019/20 Annual Performance Plan
Ms Redani Sadiki, Acting Director-General, DRDLR, took the Committee through the presentation beginning with the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) indicators, targets, achievements made between April 2014 and April 2019 and reasons for variance. The presentation then delved into the programmes of the Department namely, administration, national geomatics management services, rural development, restitution and land reform. The presentation outlined the performance indicators, per strategic objective, estimated performance for 2018/19 and medium term targets for each of the Department’s programmes.
Under programme one, administration, the strategic objectives were to ensure 100% compliance with government regulations and legal prescripts by 2020 and to obtain an unqualified audit opinion on financial and on-financial performance by 2020.
Under programme two, geospatial and cadastral services, strategic objectives were to facilitate integrated spatial planning and land use management in all provinces through the application of relevant legislation by 2020 and ensure an integrated and comprehensive land administration system.
Turning to programme three, rural development, Ms Sadiki outlined the strategic objectives were to facilitate infrastructure development to support rural economic transformation by 2020, provide support to rural enterprises and industries in areas with economic development potential and opportunities by 2020 and increase job opportunities and ensure skills development through the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) and land reform initiatives by 2020.
Under programme four, restitution, the strategic objective was to facilitate restoration of land rights or alternative forms of equitable redress by 2020.
Strategic objectives of programme five, land reform, were to promote equitable land redistribution and agricultural development by acquiring hectares of strategically located land by 2020, provide comprehensive farm development support to smallholder farmers and land reform beneficiaries for agrarian transformation and functional systems and institutional arrangements for tenure and land administration to enable agrarian reform in all provinces by 2020.
2019/20 Provincial Allocations
Ms Namadzavho Matshidza, Acting CFO, DRDLR, took Members through the presentation where it was said the order of percentage of allocation to the provinces for 2019/20 was as follows:
1. KZN 19.31%
2. North West 14.68%
3. Limpopo 14.40%
4. Mpumalanga 13.91%
5. Eastern Cape 11.19%
6. Western Cape 8.15%
7. Free State 6.47%
8. Gauteng 6.16%
9. Northern Cape 5.72%
The presentation then looked at the economic classification per province, Rural Infrastructure and Development (RID) projects per province, National Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) projects per province, restitution projects per province, Land Redistribution and Development (LRD) projects per province, Land Tenure and Administration (LTA) projects per province and transfers to the departmental agencies.
Ms Matshidza then looked at the allocations for restitution per province and the Agricultural Land Holding Account (ALHA).
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Annual Performance Plan
Mr Mike Mlengana, Director-General, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, took the Committee through the presentation beginning by stating that the Department undertook a planning session in June 2018 with sector role players, that is, the Provincial Departments of Agriculture (PDAs), the Public Entities (PEs) and commodity groups to promote intergovernmental relations, Public-Private Partnerships towards the achievement of the National Development Plan (NDP) objectives. Planning was informed by:
-Revitalisation of Agriculture and Agro processing Value Chain (RAAVC)
-Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Programme (CAADP)
-Operation Phakisa on Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform
-Operation Phakisa on Oceans Economy
-Other government policies
Sector priorities were to:
-improve food and nutrition security
-ensure creation of jobs by the sector
-increase contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
-ensure inclusion of vulnerable groups, that is, women, youth and people with disabilities – the Department is using its finalised policy document on the norms and standard for inclusion of vulnerable groups
Contributing targets for the final 2014-2019 cycle included:
-job increase of 500 000 by 2019 and 1 million by 2030
-300 000 of smallholder producers supported by 2019
-reduce households vulnerable to hunger to 9.5% by 2019
-increase the contribution of processed products to manufacturing annually by 1%
-percentage biomass increase of stock levels in priorities fisheries sectors
-reduced vulnerability and risks associated with climate change (climate change response for key sectors, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, implemented
Sector MTSEF targets included:
-300 000 jobs created
-1 million hectares of unutilised land under production
-80 000 smallholder producers supported
-152 500 hectares of land under rehabilitation
-1.6 million households benefitting from food security and nutrition initiatives
Mr Mlengana outlined the strategic goals and strategic objectives of the Department:
1. effective and efficient strategic leadership, governance and administration:
- ensure compliance with statutory requirements and good governance practices
-strengthen support, guidance and interrelation with stakeholders
-strengthen institutional mechanisms for integrated policy, planning, monitoring and evaluation in the sector
2. enhance production, employment and economic growth in the sector:
- ensure increased production and productivity in prioritised areas as well as value chains
-effective management of bio-security and related sector risks
-ensure support for market access and processing of agriculture, forestry and fisheries products
3. enabling environment for food security and sector transformation:
- lead and coordinate government food security initiatives
-enhance capacity for efficient delivery in the sector
-strengthen planning, implementation, monitoring and oversight of comprehensive support programmes
4. sustainable use of natural resources in the sector:
-ensure the conversation, protection, rehabilitation and recovery of depleted and degraded natural resources
-ensure adaptation and mitigation to climate change through effective implementation of prescribed frameworks
Mr Mlengana then took the Committee through the performance indicators, estimated performance and medium term targets for the departmental programmes namely, agricultural production, health and food safety, food security and agrarian reform, trade promotion and market access, forestry and natural resources management, fisheries management and administration.
Ms W Ngwenya (ANC; Gauteng) thought it was best to leave the questions to other Members as the presentations contained a lot of information and she had not fully taken the information in.
The Chairperson said the Member was free to email her questions and the Department could respond in writing.
Mr C Smit (DA; Limpopo) asked that the Chairperson manage the time in which presentations were given – the Chairperson allocated the time and should then manage it. Members are now left with only an hour to ask questions and engage on the information – this is unfair and the Chairperson is failing the Committee. This happens in each and every Committee. Moving to questions, the President stated government-owned land would be distributed to those without land but nothing was mentioned of this in the DRDLR presentation about these plans, budget, timelines etc. In terms of tribal areas, how would the Department ensure market access? Production is there so that one can make a living off it at the end of the day. The Member found that in majority of the tribal land, maize was farmed. This is an important produce in SA as everyone eats pap and mielies etc but how would these farmers be supported? Some of the tribal land is highly productive agricultural land but is underutilised. How did the Department assist the maize farmers by ensuring mills to transport and sell the maize to make maize meal? This would ensure the maize farmers get value for their production. This is a simple way of empowering these communities but this is not seen. Agriparks do not exist – there is no such thing but there are agrihubs. In terms of these hubs, how does the Department integrate transport systems to give access to the market? Some of the small-scale farmers do not have trucks or vehicles to transport their produce.
Mr Smit said that in many of the tribal villages he drives through, such as in Limpopo, beautiful fruits are being grown, such as mango and guava, but much of it is being left to rot when not consumed by the surrounding households - what is the Department doing to assist those villages to get their produce to market? There is great economic potential in this regard to put money in the hands of these specific communities.
What is the plan going forward regarding tribal land? It should be acknowledged that all that land is in state hands, not privately-owned. How does the Department plan to address this? Why can ownership of tribal land not be reinstated? It is a divisive system that allows only a certain tribe to stay in a certain area where no one owned the land and no one had economic access. There is an abuse of tsotsis that steal money somewhere else and then build mansions on tribal lands knowing it cannot be taken away from them because they are not the owners of the land- the Member said he could show the Department where this was happening. It is important that this matter be addressed also because these struggling communities need economic access. This was a gold mine which could not be utilised because the community did not own the land. It would also open job opportunities and lead to economic expansion – why is government not taking this seriously? Legislation stated that tribal land must be reinstated.
Mr Smit asked what the money from the one-house-one-hectare project was used for. Why were there huge variations between provinces for this project? How did the Department get to these figures? Something is not quite correct and it must be explained.
Mr A Cloete (FF+) left at this stage to attend another urgent meeting stating he would email his questions to the Department.
Ms C Labuschagne (DA, Western Cape) wanted to know whether the focus was still on the number of people assisted rather than on viable projects. The focus seemed to be largely on smallholding farmers. The other matter requiring attention is market access – what is the Department planning? She requested the Department return with explicit plans on what is being done and how the money is being spent.
According to the Division of Revenue Amendment (DORA) Bill there should be a national and provincial registry of farmers and farms as part of the provisional grants – does the Department have access to all nine registers? Are the registers up to date? If not, why not? Does the Department have the signed business plans for the costs submitted by the provinces as prescribed by DORA? If not, why not?
Much was said about the agri-parks but the DORA Bill is also clear on guidelines for departments and recipients. One of the documents referred to pooling of irrigation systems across various departments referring to 10% of funds to the presidential war room – does this still exist? If so, where does its legality lie in the DORA Bill? The Bill stipulates the division of funds.
Ms Labuschagne asked about the ring fencing of specific conditional grants and if the funds were used for what they are supposed to be used. What percentage of the grants are spent on administration and other areas that the grants are not supposed to be used on? Effective and strategic leadership required more attention and formed part of ensuring that conditional grants and monies were used as intended in terms of the money and DORA Bill. It is possible that these funds are mismanaged.
The Department needs to present to the Committee its recovery plans for abalone and West Coast Rock Lobster and how it would ensure that the fish stock was not depleted – this is one of the Department’s KPIs. There are certain beaches where poaching is rife and the public is not permitted to walk on the beach at certain times because of this. Nothing is being done when 45 boats are present with divers, even if reported to the police. The Department needs to present its plan on how this is going to be stopped.
Ms Labuschagne said clarity was also requested surrounding the division of land and what appeared to be now large holders of hectares, especially regarding conservation and grazing land, as well as the Land Use Master Plan.
The last question focused on the performance indicator that suggests a percentage of deeds be made available within seven days from lodgement for execution and whether that was realistic, as previous experience suggests that it can take significantly longer. Clarity would be needed then on what process would be achieved in seven days. Was the Department planning to change the legislation and policy framework? This KPI did not make sense – the Department needs to make a full presentation on how this would be done.
Mr A Arnolds (EFF; Western Cape) raised concerns surrounding reconfiguration of the departments and the impact this will have on staff members, and the subsequent impact that might have on the department’s ability to provide the services committed to. Increased urban development seems to be taking over prime agricultural land – this is already seen in the Western Cape. More clarity was needed on the R7 billion going to provinces to ensure the Department has a better plan in place to monitor the provincial business plans to ensure funds are spent on the outcomes and submitted provincial business plans. The Committee needs to keep close oversight on this. With the target for the number of state land parcels surveyed, the 2019/20 target was 1 500 and 2 400 in 2020/21 - this is not a sufficient increase in the target and not fair in terms of what the Department is capable of performing/doing under programme two.
Mr T Matibe (ANC; Limpopo) asked for clarity around the target of seven days for the deeds – what was the historic average informing this target? Which areas of Limpopo would be targeted for the land parcels survey? The Member asked this as he is from Limpopo. Are there stalled projects under the Rural Development Infrastructure Projects and what are the Department’s plans on such stalled projects? The Member noted that equipment received the lowest percentage of the budget yet from his perspective, this is what is most required by small-scale farmers to increase the scale of production. How would this be mitigated? Small-scale farmers are usually black. With biosecurity, whenever there is an alert, such as of foot and mouth disease, how can the process be strengthened? The emphasis should be on being proactive rather than reactive in the face of such a threat. The reactive plans, while effective, are not suitable for the long term and then the same problem occurs. There must be a streamlined project to deal with biosecurity.
Ms L Bebee (ANC; KZN) asked if the rural infrastructure development projects are adequately supported. The Department needs to clarify the difference between rural infrastructure development and rural enterprise and industrial development. On the agri-parks, the last update on the agri-parks website was of business plans loaded in 2017 – the Department needs to provide current activities and the projected timelines towards completion of development of this initiative. Many of the business plans were drawn up by the contracted consultants – the same consultants were also used in each province. Why can the province not use its own capacity to develop these plans? What cohesion is there between regional plans produced by the different consultants? She would email the remainder of the questions to the Departments.
The Chairperson asked if title deeds were received for the 16 of the 33 land claims settled. Of the1 250 recruits, it was said only 202 were absorbed into the organisation – a breakdown of this number was needed in terms of provincial spread and what work these recruits were doing. It was raised that two years ago, the Department was struggling with a 46% vacancy rate– has this been addressed? How far are the agri-parks? The last time she heard of the agri-parks in the North West was two years ago. How are they benefitting the communities? How much has been budgeted for the agri-parks? Are they working or are they white elephants?
Mr Mlengana said market access for rural farmers is segmented in terms of vulnerable, subsistence, small commercial and big commercial. The criteria are separated by turnover. With vulnerable farmers, the fundamental concern is food security. However all categories produce one commodity. All also work according to particular seasons for particular goods. In the case of mangos for example, the farmers would all sell the produce to local factories for atchar. With maize farmers in the Eastern Cape, it was found that they were coming together to export maize to Vietnam although this was not on a large scale. Because of segments and the variation thereof, it is important for the Department to meet food security needs first. Quality of production is also important across all segments – these are requirements which all segments of farmers were trained although the Department has not done this sufficiently. Together with DRDLR, DAFF has started farmer production support units as a complete one-point service unit in which there are all components of farmer support. This is a component of the agri-parks to address access to markets. The emphasis is on quality products to meet market standards. The agrarian revolution is now under the leadership of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) – the Department is beginning to define modern production discipline for market access. Production discipline must be emphasised as it goes together with quality products and trained staff etc. Enabling environments must be created in which this can occur. There is also the matter of diversification i.e. producing diversified commodities. This is however defined by seasons. The Department has taken the approach to consistently support smallholder farmers until they have market access.
In the matter of DORA, fundamentally, these funds are all ring fenced – the funds must be used for the intended purpose and not be diverted to other projects. 5% of the grant is used for monitoring of the use of the funds to allow for national to monitor the effective utilisation of those funds by the province. If there are excess funds, this would rollover. There are business plans informing the use of funds.
There is a recovery plan for abalone. Poaching is rife and there is extensive abuse of marine resources in the Western Cape but the MK veterans have been employed and trained – they are deployed in areas of the Western Cape. The Department is monitoring this but the recovery plan could be presented to the Committee.
As far as a reactionary approach to biosecurity, there is a need to engage with farmer associations in the area. The major cause was the crossing of animals due to lack of water. A fence was established followed by regular monitoring. Foot and mouth disease affected the local and national economy.
Ms Sadiki responded on the release of state land project by saying it is being monitored by the inter-ministerial committee on land and agriculture, chaired by the Deputy President. This is a multi-stakeholder project between various departments and spheres of government.
On the agri-parks, a comprehensive status report can be presented to the Committee.
Regarding communal land transferred to private hands, there is no current legislation for the development of communal land. The Communal Land Tenure Bill was consulted with the provinces but it was said a tenure security policy should rather be drafted under the guidance of the advisory panel – this would refine the Bill. There must be regulation to outline how the land would be managed.
With the one-house-one-hectare plan, different assessments and business plans are used.
Ms Sadiki requested a detailed presentation be made to the Committee on the Land Use Master Plan.
The details on the land parcel survey in Limpopo would be provided to the Committee.
There are stalled projects. Mostly, it was because of service providers and contractors which have failed. This would then be dealt with through the office of the CFO and other government channels. The process would then be readvertised.
With the equipment being the lowest budget item, this referred to office equipment such as computers etc used by officials. Equipment for the farms would be found under households or goods and services.
Infrastructure development only dealt with infrastructure while enterprise and industrial development dealt with enterprises for agricultural and non-agricultural purposes.
A DRDLR official responded to the target for transfer of title deeds by saying the target was put in place to ensure the long delays in waiting for transfers of properties etc is dealt with. It is also understood that the transfer of properties and property acquisitions contributes to the country’s economic development. 84% of deeds and documents registered within seven days were achieved in 2015/16. The Department was counting the ones which met the criteria with no errors – there are challenges in surveyors submitting sub-quality documents. In 2016/17, 86% was achieved and 92% was achieved in 2017/18 while in 2018/19, 93% was achieved. It is believed the target of 95% is still sufficient for the Department to measure itself against.
With the agri-hubs/agri-parks urban-rural market system, particularly the farmer production support units to be implemented this year, it will take into account transport to ensure there is access to those centres put in place.
The Chief Land Claims Commissioner responded to the question on restitution by saying that in the North West, the 33 referred to claims to be finalised in this current financial year. For the previous financial year in the North West, there were 17 projects approved for land transfer which equated to 21 430 hectares settled. To date, 8 855 hectares of privately-owned land has been transferred to claimants. 1 195 hectares of state land was acquired but she was not sure if this had been transferred to claimants. If it was transferred, this would result in a balance of 11 381 hectares still to be transferred, or a balance of 11 projects. Most of the 90% has been paid. The funds should be transferred by this financial year.
The Chairperson requested that some of the questions not answered be provided to the Committee in writing by tomorrow before the debate takes place.
Mr Smit asked that the Department present to the Committee details of the inter-ministerial committee looking at the transfer of state-owned land in the near future.
Consideration and adoption of Committee Reports
Draft Report of the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy on the 2019/20 Annual Performance Plan and Budget Vote 39 of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, dated 23 July 2019
The Report was adopted without amendments.
Draft Report of the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy on the 2019/20 Annual Performance Plan and Budget Vote 24 of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, dated 23 July 2019
The Report was adopted without amendments.
Consideration and adoption of Committee minutes
Committee Minutes dated 16 July 2019
The minutes dated 16 July 2019 were adopted without amendments.
The meeting was adjourned.