Question NW326 to the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform
14 March 2016 - NW326
America, Mr D to ask the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform
Whether the current drought will have any impact on the country’s land reform programme; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) Whether his department visited any land reform farms to determine and investigate the impact of the drought on the specified farms; if not, why not; if so, (a) how many land reform farms were visited and (b) what are the relevant details in each case?
(1) Yes, the details are as follows:
- Negative impact on sustainable livelihoods due to livestock death and lower crop yield;
- Environmental degradation (topsoil loss, drying of dams, no grazing land and difficult rehabilitation);
- Reduction in income;
- Threatened food security;
- High risk of animal diseases spreading;
- Low water dams levels expected to take 3-5 years to recover;
- Water restrictions and penalties on over usage of water will also have a negative impact on livestock, crops and humans, in terms of accessibility and financial implications.
(a) More than 1049 land reform farms were visited and assessments were conducted by the provincial offices of Rural Development and Land Reform and the provincial offices responsible for agriculture.
(b) Based on the farms assessed to date, findings include the following:
- Limited drinking water for human and livestock consumption;
- Limited crop yield;
- Overgrazed areas and dry land;
- In some areas there is a high fuel load posing a risk of veld fires;
- Livestock loss;
- Need for more infrastructure upgrades or establishment to be used for providing feed requirements (cattle handling facilities, feed mills and feedlots);
- Unavailability of land for relocation of livestock in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Free State (FS).
The above-mentioned findings are being addressed through the following interventions:
- 4100km of fire breaks to be created through grading for 260 farms in Free State and Mpumalanga Provinces (MP), a total of 3400 km is already completed.
- Communication and awareness campaigns were conducted in conjunction with the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) in KZN.
- Feedlots in KZN, MP and North West (NW) are being repaired and upgraded. In KZN the areas are: Tangeni, Manyiseni, Jozini, Umhlabawalengana and Bambanana. In MP the areas are Middelton, Mjindi and a 6000 ha PLAS farm in Gert Sibande District has been identified. In NW a feedlot has been upgraded at Bojanala District, a feed mill expansion in Rustkraal farm, and a fodder bank creation under Taung irrigation scheme is underway.
- The NW Province has state land in the Dr Ruth Mompadi District used by communal farmers and can produce 50 000 weaners per year. There will be no relocation of livestock but the 150 farmers will be producing 30 000 tons of livestock feed under 1500 ha irrigated of the 3 500ha Taung irrigation scheme to support these animals. A fodder bank will be established and feed to the value of R14, 5 million will be purchased for these farmers. Communal farmers will have an opportunity to take their cattle for backgrounding and then selling to the auction.
- Provision of fencing and animal handling facilities: 9km fencing has been completed at Driekoppies and Mount Sheba in MP;
- Auction sales support in Free State (FS),KZN, Limpopo (LP) and MP;
- 251 projects for the drilling and equipping of boreholes are being implemented in FS, KZN, LP, MP and NW.
- Provision of animal feed;
- Planting of fodder and lucerne under irrigation schemes in KZN (Ndumo & Nsuze) and NW (Taung);
- Financial support to land reform lessee sugarcane farmers; and.
- Financial support to proactive land acquisition strategy grants recipients, land redistribution for agricultural development, restitution and communal and state-land beneficiaries.
DRDLR is working together with other relevant departments to avoid duplication of efforts, coordinated by NDMC.