01 December 2020 - NW2586
Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
Following her announcement that over 700 000 ha of State land would be redistributed, and taking into consideration the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy, (a) how is the Government going to support all those new farm applicants, given the stark decrease in the supplementary land reform budget, (b) from which budget line item will the training, recapitalisation and other costs be paid from and (c) what plans and/or mechanisms has the Government put in place to ensure equitable access to the State land it redistributes; (2) whether there are no interested land reform applicants in Gauteng and the Western Cape; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?
1. (a)In line with the decrease in the supplementary Land Reform budget, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD)will consider a partnership model to enable support to all new farm applicants. Partners are critical and will enable DALRRD to leverage their (additional) funding.The following plans have also been put in place to support the productive use of state-land by successful applicants:
- Provision of conditional grants to enable access to production inputs, implements, on-farm infrastructure, training and mentorship, market access and South African Good Agricultural Practices (SA GAP) for those producing perishable products.
- Re-introduce blended funding and together with partners like the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), develop and support suitable land for high value, export-oriented products.
- Repurpose micro finance scheme to increase access to cheap loans through the Land Bank which are affordable as many will be start-up operations managed by women and youth.
- Furthermore, our partnerships with the commodity organizations will ensure that we provide specialised technical adviceandlinkbeneficiaries to existing markets and study groups;
b) Training, recapitalisation and other costs will be paid from the conditional grants budget line item of farmer support/post settlement.
c) The process of advertising the properties is done in a fair and equitable manner to ensure that all qualifying citizens are having an equal opportunity to access and submit their applications. This includes publishing in different platforms and in various official languages. The applications will be scrutinized by a committee to ensure proper allocation in line with the criteria outlined in the advert. The target groups for the project are women, youth and persons living with disabilities to aid in shaping the economy and agriculture for the future and to remedy the gaps for previously marginalised groups. Although persons falling outside these target groups may still apply, priority will be given to the above groups. Clear criteria and Standard Operating Procedures have been developed to ensure that applications across the country are treated consistently and fairly by applying the same standards.
2. No assessment was done to determine if there are interestedapplicants in Gauteng and Western Cape; however; there is also no state-land available to be released in the provinces of Gauteng and Western Cape. It should be noted that applicants from any province, including Gauteng and Western Cape may still apply for land in any of the provinces where land has been made available for agricultural leasing provided they are willing to relocate if appointed as lessees on such properties. Therefore, if there is interest from the residents in Gauteng or Western Cape, they can still apply in line with the current advert.