Question NW4069 to the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

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20 December 2023 - NW4069

Profile picture: Van Zyl, Ms A M

Van Zyl, Ms A M to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

What (a) are the details of her department’s community outreach projects and plans to spay and/or neuter and provide general care of animals in communities in each (i) province, (ii) municipality and (ii) town and (b) is the (i) time frame and (ii) frequency in each case; (2) whether she will furnish Ms A M van Zyl with a list of state veterinarians for each (a) province, (b) municipality and (c) town; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether the programme reaches every community in the Republic; if not, (a) why not and (b) what steps will she take to ensure that the programme reaches into every community?


(1)(a)(i),(ii) The Department has a Primary Animal Health Care (PAHC) Strategy which was developed in 2013 for the implementation of primary animal health care services across the country.

The aim of the Animal Health Care Strategy is to provide veterinary services, especially to resource-poor communities of South Africa thus improving the livelihood and Animal Health.


  • To promote accessibility is main element of the PAHC thus ensuring that veterinary services are rendered to the rural and peri-urban areas where the most needy and vulnerable groups of the population live.
  • To promote community participation by meaningful involvement of the community in planning, implementing and maintaining veterinary services.
  • To promote veterinary extension services by providing adequate training to communities on prevention and control of endemic animal diseases.
  • To use appropriate technology that is scientifically sound, adaptable to local needs, and acceptable to those who apply it and for whom it is used.
  • To facilitate inter-sectoral collaboration to improve animal health services and strengthen vertical linkages within government and horizontal linkages at national, provincial, district and municipal levels.

The Strategy also gives effect to the implementation of a Compulsory Community Service (CCS) programme for veterinarians in South Africa.

The CCS programme requires newly qualified veterinarians and those registering with the South African Veterinary Council for the first time to practice as veterinarians in South Africa, to perform a Compulsory Community Service under the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), in line with the provisions of the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act No 19 of 1982. The veterinarians are employed by DALRRD for a period of 12 months and distributed across all provinces.

The CCS programme, in addition to implementing the objectives under primary animal health care, also aims to address the skewed distribution of veterinarians across the country, which has resulted in poor accessibility of veterinary services to under-served and resource-poor areas. The programme also aims to distribute the veterinary profession equitably and provide an opportunity for newly qualified veterinarians to develop their knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The CCS veterinarians provide the following services:

    • Primary animal health care including sterilization (spay and neuter) and vaccination campaigns;
    • Herd health management;
    • Disease surveillance and control;
    • Extension services and awareness;
    • Clinical veterinary services;
    • Imports and export facilitation;
    • Veterinary diagnostics services (laboratories);
    • Regulatory services; and
    • Veterinary Public Health.

(b)(i),(ii) The CCS veterinarians are employed for a period of 12 months and provide the above-mentioned services daily.

(2)(a),(b) Please refer to Annexure A.

3. No.

a) The allocation of CCS veterinarians depends on the number of veterinarians entering the CCS programme in a particular year. The DALRRD allocates the veterinarians based on the requests by provinces and the total number available, this therefore means that the distribution differs from year to year and there may be years in which there is a shortage to cover all areas in the country.

b) The programme is dependent on the total number of available CCS veterinarians entering the programme every year, and this dependency is outside the control of the Department. However, it should be noted that provinces, in addition to the CCS programmes, operate various primary animal health care programmes such as spays and neutering, depending on their capacities.