Hansard: Appropriation Bill : Debate on Vote No 23 - Agriculture
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 16 Jun 2009
No summary available.
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
WEDNESDAY, 17 JUNE 2009
PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in the Old Assembly Chamber at 14:02.
House Chairperson Ms M N Oliphant, as Chairperson, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
START OF DAY
Debate on Vote No 23 - Agriculture:
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Madam Chairperson, the Deputy Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dr Pieter Mulder, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture Mr Lulu Johnson, Members of Parliament, members of the executive councils from the provinces responsible for agriculture, directors-general, heads of department, government officials, distinguished guests, colleagues and friends, comrades, ladies and gentlemen: Allow me to welcome in the gallery, hon Kategaya, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs; the hon Aggrey Henry Bagiire, Minister of State for Agriculture; and the hon Margaret Mahanga Mabuza, Member of Parliament. They are all from the Republic of Uganda. I welcome you and thank you for being here today. [Applause.]
I am both honoured and humbled to be part of a developmental state that is committed to working with its people, to do more and create a better life. South Africans will find that this government is not only caring and hardworking, but also has concrete implementation plans for the work we have been tasked with by the electorate.
We are starting our term at a time when the world is in recession. Our country has already begun to feel the pinch of the forecasted contraction of the economy. Our primary concern is over job losses during this period and the challenge of creating sustainable jobs.
Last month, the economist Mike Schussler remarked that it might be the first time since the 1800s that the agricultural sector is bigger than the mining sector. It is argued that it is more likely that the agricultural sector will create more jobs out of every R1 million of investment than any other sector.
Other sectors have already suffered huge job losses. It is now becoming the task of agriculture, forestry and fisheries to create jobs, and contribute to poverty alleviation.
As much as agriculture is seemingly better off in the global economic crisis, it is by no means shielded from its effects. For the first time in five years agricultural imports have exceeded exports in South Africa. This is not only unacceptable, but further vindicates our resolve to support local food production in communities, by communities for communities.
The components of Forestry and Fisheries will be smoothly integrated into the new Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. In this regard, we have embarked on processes to realign the structures, budgets, human resources, programmes, activities and delivery channels.
The ruling party's election manifesto points out that: "Rural development and agrarian reform is integral to the struggle to create a better life for all." President Zuma, in his state of the nation address, correctly accounts for the status quo as it obtains to these rural areas, because it is true that that: "Unemployment in rural areas is disproportionately high." The rural masses represent the majority of this department's stakeholders. We have arrived at a point where we must listen to their voices.
These pronouncements go further than merely saying we must change their conditions of abject poverty and degradation. They task all of us in government to translate these policy statements into practical programmes that are written up in measurable business plans. That is why we are proud to announce the programme that gives strategic expression to this responsibility, namely the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme.
It must become an implementable programme. It must be aimed at eradicating unemployment, poverty, hunger and divisions in measurable terms. We have promised, and now we are implementing, our Comprehensive Rural Development Programme. To do this, we have adopted a three-pronged strategy of agrarian transformation, rural development, and land reform.
Our department will lead the agrarian transformation programme, which will be developed and driven by the provincial Departments of Agriculture, local authorities, and our chiefs and traditional leaders, who will all manage these projects. We have already started to introduce pilot projects in Giyani in Limpopo and Riemvasmaak in the Northern Cape, which have been selected on the basis of the levels of poverty, their state of readiness and the level of participation by communities.
The lessons that will be drawn from these pilots will inform the design and implementation in other identified areas.
We will ensure that we increase production and massify the results of the commodity strategies on livestock, grain, fruit and cotton. In these areas we are providing leadership and support in the establishment of viable livestock and crop enterprises with market linkages and specific job targets.
We will also be addressing food production at household level by providing training to household members to establish vegetable tunnels for household food production. More importantly, we will be aggressively providing market linkages for the emerging farmers and further provide marketing infrastructure and agro-processing facilities for these rural communities.
The Agricultural Research Council and other state-owned enterprises will provide technical assistance to the pilot projects. It will also initiate research projects aimed at adapting technologies to rural areas to promote sustainability and profitability of existing enterprises.
We will encourage investors and development finance institutions such as the National Development Agency, the Industrial Development Corporation, the Independent Development Trust, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Land Bank to fund some of these initiatives, as the President has already spelled out.
Ons glo dat ons, deur die Allesomvattende Plattelandse Ontwikkelingsplan, 'n soliede fondasie gebou het vir betekenisvolle verandering in die landbousektor. Ons sal, tesame met hierdie gemeenskappe, 'n volledige besigheidsmodel ontwikkel wat mense sal inspireer om op die platteland te bly of terug te trek na die voedselproduserende gebiede.
Hierdie program sal die voordele van grootskaalse ekonomiese en sosiale infrastruktuurontwikkeling egalig oor die Suid-Afrikaanse hinterland versprei. Ons kan nie die platteland verder laat doodbloei nie.
Die mees pertinente punt hier, agb lede, is dat ons geen program of projek gaan aanpak sonder om dit deeglik na te vors en te verpak in 'n haalbare besigheidsplan nie. Ons kan nie meer projekte aanpak wat nie haalbaar is nie. Selfs meer belangrik, ons gaan geen beplanning doen rondom die ontwikkeling van die platteland sonder die mense van die platteland nie. Hierdie regering is geskoei op die wil van die mense.
That is why we will emphasise the axiom of "nothing about our people, nothing for our people, without our people".
We will broaden and strengthen our partnerships with organised agriculture – Nafu, Agri SA and the Transvaal Agricultural Union - and those components that still need to be organised, including subsistence and new farmers, as well as co-operatives in agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
The latter includes 450 co-operatives ranging from producer input supply, to livestock and commodity groups. We will increase this number by one hundred, based on a needs analysis, by the end of this financial year. There will also be 400 self-help groups that are based on savings mobilisation for the purpose of enterprise development.
We have allocated R150 million for this financial year for the Mafisa scheme. We have already accredited 10 financial institutions ranging from agricultural companies to development financial institutions to on-lend Mafisa funds to end users.
Mafisa has committed a total of R545 million to financial intermediaries for funding to emerging and new farmers. Hon members, please get your constituents to apply.
The Khula-Mafisa initiative has managed to leverage R116 million from commercial banks to provide funding to those emerging farmers who are able to repay loans but may not necessarily have the necessary collateral to apply for loans. We will increase accredited outlets to two per province for increased access to micro finance – and this is not Nisa.
This government remains committed to the strengthening of its support to commercial agriculture, because it has a critical role to play in economic growth, job creation, food security and the transformation of the industry.
Together we will accelerate land reform, increase the number of black entrepreneurs in agribusiness, raise agricultural production, promote trade and provide access to support services, as well as post-settlement support to target groups.
This department will redouble its efforts to give practical expression to its constitutional mandate of food security by creating an environment in which adequate food is available for all, an environment in which hunger no longer thrives and an environment in which malnutrition is eradicated.
We will review the existing food security programmes to take into consideration other interventions that are based on social development and welfare, education and health programmes. We must produce good, nutritious food right where our people are living. We must do this in a sustainable and cost-effective way.
We will, through working with rural communities, develop programmes that are based on sound agro-ecology principles so that we leave to those who come after us, soil that remains full of nutrients and the capacity to produce good food.
Our food security programmes will, over time, evolve to bear the fruits of food sovereignty, where people are able to grow food in a sustainable and self-sufficient way.
Ons moet die logika volg dat goeie, gesonde kos net uit goeie, gesonde landbougrond kan groei.
Through both internal and external training programmes, we will increase targeted training, which is so required. Research and extension support are absolutely necessary for our emerging farmers. There will be extensive support for the sector. During this financial year, we will train 2 000 land reform beneficiaries, as well as conduct and publish research documents to assist especially the emerging sector with vital production information. In total, we will train 1 000 extension officers and recruit another 1 000 over the MTEF period, which means 1 000 sustainable and decent jobs will be created through this programme for extension officers.
As part of the agrarian transformation drive, we will consolidate the offerings of the national funding schemes, including Agri-BEE, Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, Ilima/Letsema and Land Care, into a "one-stop shop" programme, so that the beneficiaries do not go from one official to the next to try to apply for funding. This is part of our alignment strategy to support services so that communities are not confused with CASP, Illima/Letsema, etc. There are so many abbreviations – I cannot keep up!
The current allocation for CASP is R715 million, for Illima/Letsema it is R50 million, for Agri-BEE it is R100 million and for Land Care it is R48 million. This is substantial funding for the intervention in agriculture. The total allocation for development support through the new funding facility will be close to R1 billion, just for emerging farmers.
Casp will be funded to the tune of R2,5 billion over the medium-term expenditure framework period, that is, over the next three years. This support is to new and emerging farmers.
This will support our efforts to promote massive production of food, feed and fibre; to create decent jobs and generate sustainable incomes; and to create a sense of shared development and dignity among our people, especially rural women, poorest of the poor, the youth and the aged.
We have, together with industry stakeholders, launched the Agri-BEE Charter Council to monitor and report on broad-based black economic empowerment initiatives. Not enough has been done to monitor broad-based black economic empowerment in agriculture, and this will be intensified and monitored, with scrutiny.
Improved agro-logistics have the potential to improve bulk agriculture cargo, and improve efficiency of food movement, with the cost efficiency manifesting itself in the reduced cost of food processes. We will continue to work with our colleagues to revitalise the rural railway branches, because there where we no longer have railways rural towns have died. We will try to open these railway lines as a measure to increase the mobility of agricultural cargo from road to rail, thus saving our roads and opening our rails and making it more cost effective.
We will facilitate the establishment of agricultural marketing infrastructure for land and agrarian reform beneficiaries, so that they have access to marketing, improve their efficiency, and improve agricultural logistics for all commodity value chains, especially for black farmers. This will include efforts in irrigation projects such as the Mokolo River augmentation, the Vaalharts/Taung and the Makathini irrigation schemes.
Today, young people are faced with different challenges. They lack opportunities; they face disease and hunger. Today, our response must be to do more for them. Today, it is time for us to say that the number of unemployed youth is still too high. Together we can, together we must, and together we will do more to make the youth an integral part of a new, more inclusive economy.
We will achieve this by exposing young people to hands-on experience in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, through the envisaged National Youth Service for Agriculture. This will be done by providing strong linkages with the bursary scheme, internships and mentorships linked to incubator programmes.
We will avail R22 million for this initiative. Two hundred and ninety people will receive support and an additional 183 graduates will be taken in as interns. Also, 265 young people will undergo mentorship training through incubator programmes in partnership with the Perishable Products Export Control Board and the National Wool Growers Association – if others want to participate, they should please come forward.
In total, 938 young people will benefit through targeted skills development initiatives.
Within the next quarter, we will look into the possibility of signing an agreement with the DTI to ensure that there is alignment of agricultural production and agro-processing co-operation between these two departments, because there is quite a good overlap.
More than R99 million will be set aside to increase agricultural production and agro-prosessing grants.
We will further work with our rural communities to design innovative models for the creation of sustainable economic opportunities in agro-ecology for SMMEs and co-operatives, in the context of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme.
NHon members, none of us can ignore the global drive towards natural resource management and sustainable development practices that will ensure a more secure future for our children.
We will have to consider the effects of agriculture on climate change, as well as the effects of climate change on agriculture. We know that agriculture is one of the many greenhouse gas emitters and therefore we must begin to quantify what the situation in South Africa is.
We need to develop appropriate responses and invest in cleaner production methodologies, create green job opportunities, promote innovation and apply scientific technology in the production processes. Our government's plans agree that investments in employment, economic and development opportunities must focus on industries and facilities that are designed to mitigate the effects of climate change.
We will look at the financing mechanisms specified in the Kyoto Protocol, and devise specific projects that will generate carbon finance through the clean development mechanisms, as a new form of foreign direct investment.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Order! Hon Minister, unfortunately your time has expired.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: I shall continue and conclude when I respond. Thank you, hon Chairperson. [Applause.]
Mr M JOHNSON / JE / END OF TAKE
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES (Ms T M Joemat-Pettersson)
Mr M JOHNSON: Chairperson, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and fellow South Africans, on this day, 17 June 2009, we shall salute the youth of South Africa for the bravery they demonstrated, in most instances, with bare hands, fearlessly challenging the cowardly apartheid security forces which were armed to the teeth and which maimed and killed innocent young people, the future of our country. Long live the undying spirit of the June 16 detachment. Long live!
Hon MEMBERS: Long live!
It is fitting that we dedicate this Budget Vote debate to these young gallant warriors of our land for without their sacrifices, at times supreme, both enemies and friends alike of our liberation wouldn't be enjoying the freedoms we are enjoying today, let alone abusing them. They continue to live in squalor; unemployed, living sick lives. In short, they are heroes of yesteryears but now find themselves absolutely marginalised.
Comrades, I know that it would be better that we're late than sorry in our interventions. Together we must do something through Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Together we must prioritise this class of June 16 in all programmes that we continue to be engaged in, always and everywhere.
Lest we forget where the policies we are implementing originated from, both our enemies and friends alike born 54 years ago at the Congress of the People ...
Hhayi lomkokotelo esiwubonayo kulamalanga. [Ihlombe.]
The Freedom Charter progressively continues to instruct us: "The land shall be shared among those who work it! ... the land redivided amongst those who work it, to banish famine and land hunger."
The commander-in-chief of our country, President Zuma, in his address at the launch of the people's manifesto in January 2009, further reminded us that, I quote: "Lasting victory over poverty and hunger require the creation of sustainable livelihoods."
The commander-in-chief, upon being inaugurated, reminded all of us of the commitments we pledged to our people and to the world, among others, that "For as long as there are rural dwellers unable to make a decent living from the land on which they live ... we shall not rest, and we dare not falter" in our drive to eradicate poverty.
These are not scarecrows or wishful ideas, for we have already seen these messages translated into activity plans by some of us in our respective responsibilities. Indeed, the time for laziness and complacency must be over, especially among officials of government. It must be about business unusual, for we have engaged a new gear towards our drive for of a better life for all. If you cannot drive, or you are hiding behind your contract of employment, you'd better think trice this time around. Ours is an oversight role that must ensure that the department delivers on its mandate "Food for all", and that it contributes its part of creating jobs for all.
Agriculture accounts for 3% of GDP, with its role in the export of nongold products standing at 8% to 10%. In the formal employment sector, agriculture accounts for 10%. Most of these figures are derived from the grain and meat subsectors in agriculture.
Whilst this must be encouraged, we must not lose sight of the role that horticulture plays and can play in further boosting this sector of our economy. The research results of a Harvard panelist report points us precisely in this direction. The empirical evidence does show us therefore that for every hectare in the cut flower industry, 20 jobs are created, whilst in the seasonal citrus fruit industry, 60 to 80 jobs are created, for every 20 hectares.
Comrade Minister, targets of this nature and more are critical towards achieving President Zuma's instruction of creating no less than 500 000 jobs by December this year.
Whilst all this is expected to be done without excuses, support must be readily available. With regard to the redistributed land, post-settlement support is urgent for us as a nation to address. As part of creating sustainable livelihoods, partnerships must be created across the board.
In our townships, homes and schools we must be able to harness these partnerships in making use of unused ground towards engaging in plantation activities. At the same time, especially in farming communities, each school must have agriculture as a subject, Minister, so that when these learners go on vacation, they are able to make good use of their education at these homes and schools.
Our patriotic established farmers have a role to play in partnerships and joint ventures with emerging farmers. This becomes a shift in focus from a mentoring programme.
Having interacted with AgriSA's Mr Möller and Mr van der Merwe in the past two days, I have confidence that, together with the established sector in agriculture, we can do more in such partnerships. They are here among us; I would imagine they should be able to attest to this.
Finance remains a sore point in the agriculture industry. The capped R100 000 per project of the Micro-Agricultural Finance Initiative of South Africa's - Mafisa - remains a drop in the ocean for a hungry black farmer. Minister, a moratorium must be imposed on the Land Bank's ongoing attachments and repossessions of poor black farmers' assets as a matter of urgency. [Applause.]
Apart from such barbaric acts by the Land Bank - as if that is not enough - for a developmental finance institution - they continue to charge prime plus 4% interest expected in repayment in the first month of a loan. This puts the bank in direct competition with commercial banks, rather than serving its developmental mandate of growing this poor sector of our economy. [Interjections.] We are progressive here and we all want to be seen as progressive. Perhaps we need to engage here as to whether it isn't time that we return this fully staffed bank with all its capacities to the Department of Agriculture.
Lastly, with regard to finance, through the Co-Operative Banks Act, small farmers must indeed begin to form their own co-operative banks. With a proper road and rail infrastructure, we shall indeed be faster and more efficient in delivering produce to distribution points, whether for local or export market purposes.
Whilst we cry foul about not being competitive, such basics must be put in place to avoid situations like one we have in the Eastern Cape where a budget has not been was approved since last year for a road from Patensie to Hankey. As we speak, the road still hasn't been built.
In conclusion, at the centre of all of these initiatives there must be an engagement of yesteryears' and today's youth, for we shall be investing in the future of our nation. I quote again: "For as long as there are rural dwellers unable to make a decent living from on the land on which they live ... we shall not rest, and we dare not falter" in our drive to eradicate poverty. The ANC supports Budget Vote 23. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Mr L L BOSMAN / VM/ END OF TAKE
Mr M JOHNSON
Mnr L L BOSMAN: Geagte Voorsitter, geagte Minister en Adjunkminister, geagte lede van hierdie Raad, primêre boerdery is lankal reeds 'n waardetoevoegingskakel in die voedselproduksieproses.
Hierdie proses is, met vryer handel en mededinging in 'n globale markomgewing, aan al hoe meer invloede en vereistes onderhewig wat deur boere, hulle insetverskaffers, voedselprosesseerders en bemarkers in 'n vennootskapsverhouding verstaan moet word. Die Staat speel ook 'n belangrike rol om suksesvolle ontwikkeling en mededingendheid te verseker. Die rol wat spelers in die waardeketting speel om pryse vir die verbruiker te verhoog, moet ernstig onder toesig gehou word.
Infrastruktuur en diensverskaffing moet koste-effektiwiteit verseker Navorsing en regulatoriese ondersteuning moet volhoubaarheid, mededingendheid en voldoening aan omgewings- en verbruikersvereistes verseker.
Bowenal moet 'n beleidsbedeling vertroue inboesem, sodat rolspelers aangemoedig sal word om Suid-Afrika as die voorkeur bestemming vir investering te beskou.
Dit was met teleurstelling dat die primêre landbouproduksie nie deur die Minister se department, by wyse van sy begrotingspos, as van uiterste belang vir die land se ekonomiese groei en stabiliteit uitgesonder was nie. Die belangrikheid van die landbousektor as voedsel- en veselverskaffer, asook as werkgewer en verdiener van buitelandse valuta, was in die verlede nooit deur die ANC regering ernstig opgeneem nie.
Die gesegde lui dat enige land wat sy landbou misken, uiteindelik tot mislukking gedoem is. Zimbabwe is 'n uitstekende voorbeeld hiervan.
Hon Minister, the DA supports a united, competitive, profitable and sustainable agricultural sector in South Africa. We believe that it is critical for our food security, and that South Africa needs to be the food exporter that it once was.
Apart from ensuring South Africa's food security, the primary agricultural sector is one of the largest employers in the country. According to Statistics SA 2007, it currently employs a workforce of 796 000, consisting of just under 432 000 full-time and 365 000 part-time workers, or 8,8% of the total workforce.
It is in this context that we can support some of the goals of the Department of Agriculture's Medium-Term Strategic Framework, and I quote, "... to promote agricultural productivity and profitability through the identification of opportunities, sustainable use and protection of land, water and genetic resources and infrastructure development, to ensure household food security".
However, with the greater emphasis – as we have just heard - on transformation issues and a lack of focus first and foremost on the economic viability of the sector, I am afraid to say that this will be difficult to achieve.
As a result of government's confrontational stance towards commercial agriculture, we have seen huge disinvestment and a decline in employment, as well as an exodus of producers from this important sector. The threats from government to do away with the willing buyer, willing seller principle and the now shelved Expropriation Bill also certainly contributed to the decline in investor confidence. We cannot afford to repeat these mistakes.
Some of the challenges that we now face to restore confidence and improve production are the following. Government must have a clear regulatory framework based on the free-market system to regulate and enhance investment in the sector. As early as 1961, Johnston and Mellor argued that agriculture could make important contributions to the structural transformation of economies. For example, it could provide labour, capital, foreign exchange and food for the growing industrial and urban sectors, as well as a market for domestically produced industrial goods.
A further challenge for agricultural growth and development is not only to produce more food, but also to create employment and thus income for poor people inside and outside of the sector. The declining contribution of agriculture to overall Gross Domestic Product is frequently misinterpreted as a decline in its role in the country's economy.
However, agriculture's real value to the economy is embedded in several other, not so obvious, economic functions. These include agriculture's forward and backward linkages, its ability to earn foreign exchange, its employment ability and its role as provider of food for the nation.
As far as transformation is concerned, we will have to overhaul the failure of our land reform programmes by ensuring that the new land reform beneficiaries have adequate post-settlement financial and other support. We need to identify people with an interest in farming. We need to train them and have proper mentorship programmes with former landowners to ensure a smooth skills transfer.
The department's extension services have completely collapsed in the past, and needs to be rejuvenated as a matter of urgency. I took note, with interest, that the of the department's extension recovery plan which is reported to have recruited 384 extension personnel, trained 1 200 officers in generic, technical and computer skills, and provided ICT equipment to a further 1 230 personnel.
With my experience in this field, I believe that the extension services should be strengthened by commodity-based mentorships, through which great successes have been achieved in the past. I am therefore pleased that agreements have been signed with 11 commodity organisations to support the development of emerging farmers.
More money will also have to be put into research and development, as well as into the use of biotechnology to its fullest possible extent to enable producers to increase production.
The impact of climate change – and you also referred to this, Minister - and droughts on production and food security should be recognised. The availability of water of good quality is becoming more important for maintaining production.
Rainfall is unevenly distributed, and South Africa is periodically affected by severe droughts. We will have to focus on strategies to mitigate the adverse impact, especially on water availability and adapted plant biodiversity.
Proper management of natural disasters is critical for the long- term sustainability of this sector. We need to accelerate the promulgation of a disaster management Act. Currently, the management of disaster aid is ad hoc and it takes far too long to be implemented.
We also need to revisit our trade and tariff policy in order to align it with the policy space allowed for in the Doha round of the World Trade Organisation agreements in order to make sure that our local production remains competitive and profitable. Market access is of vital importance for small-scale producers to secure adequate prices for their products.
Daar is 'n behoefte aan 'n landbouhandelsbeleid wat beter na Suid-Afrika se belange sal omsien. Dit sal 'n beleid wees wat 'n balans moet tref tussen enersyds die voedselbekostigbaarheidsvraagstuk, teenoor die meriete daarvan om die effek van onregverdige owerheidsondersteunde invoermededinging, met toepaslike invoertariewe, te neutraliseer.
Beleidsvoorstelle hiervoor is 'n geruime tyd reeds gedoen, maar dit word nie prakties toegepas nie, vanweë 'n sloering op regeringsvlak.
Om vir toereikende beskerming teen gesubsidieerde mededinging te
vra, is verseker nie onbillik nie. Deur dit nie toe te staan nie, benadeel die regering investering in plaaslike produksie wat sou kon bydra tot verbeterde voedselsekerheld, werkskepping, landelike ontwikkeling en selfs uitvoere.
Uit ervaring blyk dit in elk geval dat voedselinvoere nie laer voedselpryse tot gevolg het nie. Is die sloering met die toepassing van die aanbeveelde beleid nie 'n voorbeeld waar sogenaamde sosiaalmaatskaplike voordele voorrang bo ekonomiese ontwikkelingsgeleenthede geniet nie?
South Africa is currently a signatory to various trade agreements other than those with the World Trade Organisation. Most notable of these are the Southern African Customs Union, the Southern African Development Community and the South Africa-European Union SA Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement.
South Africa, within the ambit of Sacu, is also currently in the process of negotiating various different bilateral trade agreements.
This raises the question of how much trade policy space South Africa actually has for its agricultural sector.
A study by Sandrey et al in 2007 provides answers to this question. They conducted research to assess the amount of policy space that is actually available to extend tariff protection to South African agriculture, and concluded that although, in general, space available is limited, 19% of all imports have some policy space subject to WTO tariff rate quotas, or the so-called TRQs.
The agricultural trade development strategy basically addresses the four pillars of trade intervention, that is trade support, tariffs to be part of a development policy, regulatory support, and bilateral and multilateral negotiations as instruments to improve market access. It is therefore, in my opinion, necessary to implement a trade and tariff policy for South Africa to give substance to the above issues.
In conclusion, the DA looks forward towards a more co-operative relationship with the Minister and her department in order to take agriculture development, food security and our country forward. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms D CARTER / Nvs (Eng & Afr) / END OF TAKE
Mr L L BOSMAN
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, hon members and esteemed guests, agriculture in Africa can become the backbone of economic development. Just a mere 10 years ago, the extent of agricultural production in South Africa was a high and significant portion of GDP. Given the booming economic times, one would have expected this trend to grow. But it did not.
Linked directly to the sloppy manner with which agricultural support was rolled out, it became clear that there was no plan to maintain the high productivity levels despite the change of ownership of agricultural land. This is a sad and sorry state of affairs, given the levels of poverty in our country.
Sadly, our country is not the only one. The collapse of agriculture is the weak spot in many African economies. At a summit in Maputo in 2006, African countries committed themselves to ensuring that at least 10% of their national budgets were allocated to agriculture, given agriculture's multiplier effect on the economy and its undergirding significance in ensuring food security – matters that stand between the perpetual hunger of our people and a more prosperous and healthy life.
Needless to say, years later many countries, including our country, don't even exceed 4% on average of their national budget, including South Africa with a shocking 1% allocated to agriculture including land affairs. With this kind of undercapitalisation of agriculture, the chances of elevating its intervention in the economy to its full potential are very slim. Hon Minister, this has to change if we are serious about using agriculture to fight poverty.
At the same meeting it was acknowledged that Africa's agricultural challenges could be summed up as: undercapitalisation of agriculture, as already referred to; inadequate use of mechanical and agro chemicals; and inadequate investment in irrigation schemes and technology, as well as low land and labour productivity. Where is the master plan to make sure that South Africa tackles all these challenges?
Cope believes that there is a need for an emergency plan to ensure that agricultural interventions become the pillar of how this government shields ordinary people from the effects of the recession and makes them part of a sustainable development plan to use agriculture to get out of poverty and hunger.
Hon Minister, for years South Africans have been hearing phrases such as "agrarian reform" and "agrarian revolution". As South Africans, we are yet to taste the fruits despite many seasons of wait.
We have noted some of the initiatives to give our people a head start with household-based agricultural interventions especially in rural areas. While this is obviously commendable, it is highly inadequate in the absence of increased agricultural officers to handle the increased load of people who will now be needing assistance at household level to start their own household-based subsistence farming.
Parliament must interrogate this aspect more when the department implements the idea further. Investment in community-shared irrigation systems must become part of this plan. It is no longer viable just to introduce miniscule initiatives that speak to individual food gardens. Initiatives that get communities to maintain and produce surplus for sale could create jobs and increase the potential of viable agricultural enterprises.
One of the most immediate impacts of the recession on our people is the high food prices. The matter goes to the heart of the fight against hunger. Cope supports a full investigation by the SA Competition Commission into any collusion by the big four retailers to inflate food prices. In the face of a recession we believe that this would be most immoral and that these businesses should be brought to book and made to be part of a solution to fight hunger and not to exacerbate it.
There must be a way that government, through its procurement muscle, is able to force the hand of business to come to the party on the issue of lowering food prices. Interventions in the past to revise the tax regime for food need to be urgently examined to see how to lighten the weight of ordinary people who rely on certain staple foods to keep healthy.
If we link this to the high number of people on HIV and Aids medication who require proper nutrition for their medication to be effective, you would realise that, once again, the neglect in this area could militate against our intervention on combating diseases that are opportunistic when it comes to HIV and Aids, let alone stem the pandemic itself.
There is no doubt that there is a race against time in making agricultural reform part of the plan to fight poverty. Commercial farming, in which individuals and their families produce a surplus and sell or barter it for cash or other goods, whether on a small or large scale, is critical for rural development. The type of farming practised depends hugely on rainfall, soil type and local microclimates, and no commercial farming can take place without access to a market.
The key to the development of country towns is the existence of commercial farming where the farmer, the farmworker and their families can source supplies and services and contribute to the life of the community. There is a need to examine very closely some form of agricultural processing to be part of the development.
The wood-processing plant in Ugie has brought about great development and created many jobs over a very short period. Small initiatives, such as weaving and brick-making, all help. A huge factor for development is if there is some form of tourist potential – this way there is a link to possible exports in the future given the potential international exposure of such initiatives.
Recently, a huge amount of publicity was given to the fact that thousands of South African farmers would be seeking greener pastures in countries like the DRC. There is a reality that we have to face, given the uncertainty relating to land reform, that many farmers are looking at other options. We have to stem that tide. Even in the face of many black emerging farmers, it is important that we keep the skills of white farmers in our country from migrating.
Creative partnerships between established commercial farmers and emerging black farmers cannot be overemphasised. This process requires the speeding up of land reform and policy stability to enable proper planning and encourage more, and not less, investment. An important factor in this regard is the challenge to take stock of broad-based black economic empowerment in this sector. Simply allocating more funds to the programme is not the way to go. We need to assess what is in place since the adoption of the charter and how businesses in this industry are partnering with small and medium enterprises, how they are changing their procurement patterns given the recession and, more crucially, how enterprise development is taking root to ensure the transformation of the sector.
Cope strongly believes that only through a consistent enterprise development programme that the support given to emerging farmers can be truly meaningful. This is the eye through which we have to assess the impact of BBBEE on agriculture. Issues of ownership and management control are crucial but become meaningless if farms are handed to people ... [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms M C MABUZA / LB/ END OF TAKE
Ms D CARTER
Ms M C MABUZA: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers present here, hon members, our guests on the gallery, ladies and gentlemen, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, and I quote:
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
The South African Bill of Rights reaffirms article 25(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by stating in sections 26 and 27 that everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing, health care services, sufficient food and water, and social security. This also includes appropriate social assistance if one is unable to support oneself and one's dependants. Access to sufficient food is therefore a constitutional right of all South Africans.
At a national level, South Africa is a food-secure nation. This means that the country produces its main staple foods, exports its surplus food, and imports what it needs in order to meet its food requirements. Yet the picture at the level of households is very different. According to Statistics SA, around 35% of the total population, 14,3 million South Africans, are currently vulnerable to food insecurity. Women, children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Approximately 1,5 million children under the age of six are malnourished, and therefore stunted owing to a lack of proper nutrition. These figures were released by Statistics SA when measuring poverty in South Africa in 2000.
Hon Minister, what is food security? Food security exists when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life. This includes both physical and economic access to food that meets people's dietary needs, as well as their food preferences.
The three fundamental pillars of food security are the following: Food availability: sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis; food access: having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet; and, food use: appropriate use based on knowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation. It is important that all three are explored when trying to address the problem of food insecurity in order to develop a holistic approach to the problem, especially at the level of the household.
What is household food security? Household food security is the defined as access by all households at all times to adequate, safe and nutritious food for a healthy and productive life. Food security can thus be said to have two components: the ability to be self-sufficient in food production through own production; and accessibility to markets and the ability to purchase food items.
The threats to food security arise from a combination of factors which individually and collectively place food systems under stress. These include climatological, ecological, socioeconomic and political factors. These factors interact with market and access to credit, the availability and sustainability of technology, the terms of trade, pricing policies and other idiosyncratic factors to threaten food supply. It is worth noting that socioeconomic conditions are playing a more important role in food security or insecurity. While South Africa produces a sufficient amount of food, this is in no way ensures food security at individual household level.
The prevalence of and causes of food security in South Africa are highest amongst the African population and rural households. The provinces with high stunting rates are also those provinces with large rural populations. Rural children and mothers with limited education are the most affected.
Poverty, lack of income or sustainable livelihoods and unemployment are among some of the main causes of food insecurity. It should be noted that given the history of inequality, South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world. Income distribution in South Africa is among the most unequal in the world.
According to some experts, food insecurity does not only occur as a result of a shortage of food, but is also due to problems related to its distribution. Hence, there is the argument that even where there is plenty, hunger and malnutrition may still prevail.
Regarding the impact of food insecurity, if families are unable to grow or purchase enough food and social welfare nets are absent or ineffective, there may be hunger. This is the case in many South African societies. According to Mgijima, 1991, it is estimated that 39% of the South African population is vulnerable to food insecurity. Furthermore, 22% of all children under the age nine are stunted owing to chronic malnutrition. This has negative consequences for the children's development.
According to the National Food Consumption Survey of 2000, anaemia and marginal vitamin A status are widespread micronutrient deficiencies. Anaemia and marginal vitamin A status affect between 20% and 30% of young children. It is said further that malnutrition can lead to severe protein-energy deficiency conditions known as kwashiorkor or marasmus. Malnutrition can also lead to a micronutrient deficiencies such as night blindness and cretinism.
When it comes to possible strategies to address food insecurity, it should be noted that although the social security - which will encompass comprehensive nutrition programmes targeting children and the vulnerable – is essential for dealing with challenges that the poor are facing, it is critical that strategies for addressing food insecurity be developed in order to address the problem.
These strategies may include, amongst other things, land reform and food security. There cannot be own production and household food security if households do not have access to land. Many rural people depend very much on wage incomes. Employment, in other words, is important in most rural areas. But, as farm jobs are slashed and poverty spreads and deeps, vulnerability to food insecurity also increases. Those who are able to work but unemployed, do not have access to any social welfare programmes and are very vulnerable to food insecurity. Such people could significantly reduce their vulnerability to food insecurity with access to land for own production and sales.
International experience also shows the importance of access to land and land reform in alleviating poverty and, hence, food security. For instance, the consequence of the Chinese land reform programme was that there was a fast reduction in income-based absolute poverty from roughly 60% before land redistribution to an average of approximately 6% to 11% in 1979 to 1981.
South Korea also experienced considerable improvement in livelihoods after land reform. The South Korean land reform programme resulted in 60% cultivation of the total land area and an improved Gini co-efficient of land redistribution from 0,729 to 0,384 between 1945 and 1965.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Mabuza, please wrap up.
Ms M C MABUZA: I will do so. Given the complex nature of food security, there is a need for complex, systemic and multisectoral approaches. [Interjections.] Thank you very much. Oh, it is a pity, Mr Bosman - I didn't expect you to behave like that. [Interjections.]
Mr R N CEBEKHULU /TM / END OF TAKE
Ms M C MABUZA
Mr R N CEBEKHULU: Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Ministers, hon members and distinguished guests, firstly, I would like to congratulate the Minister on being appointed ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Cebekhulu, there is a point of order.
Mr W P DOMAN: We all heard what the hon member said - that we must shut up. That is unparliamentarily. I must request you to ask her to withdraw please.
Ms M C MABUZA: Deputy Chairperson, I needed to be given the time to say whatever I was saying, because I am learning and should not be interrupted because it was my maiden speech. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Mabuza, are you withdrawing?
Ms M C MABUZA: I'm withdrawing without any attachments. Thank you very much. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Thank you very much, hon Mabuza. Hon Cebekhulu, continue.
Mr R N CEBEKHULU: Firstly, I would like to congratulate the Minister on being appointed to this position. While agriculture has an important role to play in the economic and social development of South Africa, it has an especially important role to play with regard to the upliftment of emerging farmers and rural communities. I look forward to seeing you promoting emerging contractors and improving the plight of subsistence farming so as to ensure food security.
Farms that were purchased by government under its land reform programme were meant to improve the lives of those who were the beneficiaries of this land and to provide employment for those who were to work on the farms.
The reality, however, is that some of these farms are now unproductive and have been neglected. This not only has a negative effect on the lives of the beneficiaries and local communities, but also on food production and food security as these farms could have made a contribution in this regard.
One of the reasons for this sorry state is the lack of support, both technical and financial, for beneficiaries. Farming is an expensive exercise as you need equipment, fertilisers and chemicals amongst other things. You also need to have the necessary skills to know, for example, how and when to plant your crops and how to plough and prepare your land. This support has not been forthcoming to emerging and small-scale farmers as well to farmers who got farms from the land reform programmes, and this must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
The troubles with the Land Bank have been well documented. The efficient operation of this institution is very important to the success of the farming sector and the development of emerging and small-scale farmers. So, these troubles must be sorted out as soon as possible.
The relationship between farmers, the Land Claims Commission and this department is very important. This relationship must not be adversarial. There must be greater co-operation, and open and honest communication between the various role-players in the agricultural sector.
It is also important to realise that farmers have the skills needed to assist emerging farmers and beneficiaries of the land reform programme, so government and this department in particular must build a good working relationship and use the expertise of these farmers.
The development of rural agriculture is very important to the upliftment of our rural areas and we, in the IFP, believe that rural agriculture must be given greater attention. While I'm aware that rural agriculture is a line function for the provincial government, I would like also to ask the Minister if there'll be continual support in the form of conditional grants to provincial agricultural departments; and, if so, whether the monitoring and evaluation of the use of those funds is going to be given the highest priority.
The 2007-08 annual report of the Department of Agriculture, for example, shows that KwaZulu-Natal spent less than R3,5 million of the R68,3 million that it received as a conditional grant for the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme for the year ending 31 March 2008. This trend in underspending is not isolated as the annual report shows underspending of other grants by this province during the period under review. [Time expired.] Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
ag / END OF TAKE
Mr R N CEBEKHULU
DIE ADJUNKMINISTER VAN LANDBOU, VISSERYE EN BOSBOU: Voorsitter, geagte Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, agb lede, ek wil begin deur hulde te bring aan mnr Tommie Marais, die hoof finansiële beampte van die department, wat onverwags gisteraand oorlede is en wat 'n groot rol in die departement gespeel het.
President Zuma se besluit om grondsake en landbou te skei het positiewe en negatiewe reaksies uitgelok. Net so het die President se aankondiging vir sy Kabinet, en spesifiek vir die Lanbou Ministers, positiewe en negatiewe reaksies uitgelok. Die media se kommentaar daarop het gewissel van verbasing tot skok, maar ook lof. Kommentators was dit egter eens dat die President met die skeiding van die departemente van grondsake en landbou asook met sy keuses van ministers 'n besliste boodskap aan die lanbousektor, sowel as aan die hele Suid-Afrika, wou stuur.
Ek sien hierdie boodskap van die President as dat hy besef hoe belangrik 'n suksesvolle landbousektor vir die toekoms van Suid-Afrika is en dat ons oor politieke en ander grense heen genoeg met mekaar in gemeen het om saam hieraan te kan werk omdat die krisis in die landbou so ernstig is.
Dat die landbousektor voor vele probleme staan en dat die toekoms groot eise aan ons almal hier teenwoordig gaan stel, is nie te betwyfel nie. Ek het die aanstelling as Adjunkminister na deeglike oorweging aanvaar, bewus van die groot eise wat dit gaan stel, asook die risiko's wat so 'n besluit inhou. Johan van Wyk, 'n oud-joernalis, maak my besluit nie makliker as hy in 12 Junie se Landbouweekblad 'n humoristiese artikel oor al die vorige oud-ministers van landbou skryf nie. Daarin het hy geskryf hoe landbouministers in Suid-Afrika glad nie baie lank hou nie. Volgens sy syfers het Suid-Afrika die afgelope 100 jaar iets meer as 30 landbouministers gehad en toon hy aan hoe hulle baie gou ongewild raak.
The agricultural challenges to this country are ever-increasing, as influential international events and urgent local demands have to be addressed. The worldwide financial crises resulted in slowing economic growth, not only in industrial countries, but also in developing countries. When factors such as global climate change and input costs are taken into account, high demands are placed on the various agricultural role-players in order to continue attaining objectives, such as food security, lower food prices and the establishment of emerging farmers in the coming few years.
Although agriculture only contributes 3% to the GDP, it remains one of the largest contributors to employment provision in this country's total economy. According to calculations, 8,5 million people are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture for employment and income, requiring careful and responsible decision-making in order to ensure a balanced and healthy agricultural sector. A successful agricultural sector remains a key priority for South Africa in addressing all these issues.
The World Trade Atlas of 18 February 2009 released the preliminary value of South Africa's total agriculture exports as amounting to R45,3 billion in 2008, which is an increase of 51% from 2007. The preliminary agricultural imports were R39 billion for 2008, an increase of nearly 31% from 2007. The resulting agricultural trade surplus was R6,3 billion for 2008.
These statistics point to a high export of primary produce and a high import of processed food, therefore indicating an opportunity to develop our beneficiation industries. This becomes an opportunity for entrepreneurs to venture into agro-processing, creating their own jobs and at the same time beginning to absorb labour. An important part of our mission is to ensure the availability and access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food.
Addressing a meeting of the World Affairs Council of Northern California in San Francisco, Dr Jacques Diouf, as Director-General Food and Agriculture of the UN said:
In the next few decades, a major international effort is needed to feed the world when the population soars from six to nine billion. We might call it a second green revolution.
This was supported by the call of the of the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr Ban Ki-moon, in 2008 for another green revolution, this time acknowledging that the world will be looking at Africa for answers to food security.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum last week, the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, reacted by saying that Africa can be the world's breadbasket and I agree with that. At the same occasion, former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, added:
In Africa, food security is not a theoretical problem. Almost 300 million Africans go to bed without anything to eat.
Therefore, providing sufficient food for the South African public remains one of the most important agricultural aims of the agricultural sector. Conversely, if food security is threatened, this would lead to famine, which then results in political instability, coupled with all its negative effects. Stated bluntly, a nation that is not able to grow its food and feed its people, is a failing nation.
A joint statement issued in 2008 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme, mentioned that one underlying cause of the current world food crises was the dramatic decline in agricultural investment over the past three decades, when official development assistance tumbled from 17% in total to around 3% in 2006.
As daar van voedselsekuriteit in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks gepraat word, is dit dikwels nie soseer 'n tekort aan voedsel nie, maar eerder die voedselpryse wat die probleem is. Voedsel word so duur dat selfs basiese voedselsoorte ver buite bereik van 'n groot deel van die bevolking is. Die vraag is waarom die prys van voedsel op die winkelrakke steeds duurder word, terwyl sommige landboukommoditeitspryse daal?
Kom ek gee vir u een voorbeeld: Volgens statistiek van die Nasionale Landboubemarkingsraad, het die prys van koring van April 2008 tot April 2009 met 36% gedaal. In hierdie tyd het die Safex prys vir koring van R3 962 per ton tot R2 526 per ton gedaal. Terwyl koring se prys met 36% gedaal het, het bruinbrood se prys in dieselfde tyd met 22% gestyg. Hoe verklaar 'n mens dit? Volgens dr André Jooste, senior bestuurder van die Nasionale Landboubemarkingsraad, is die groot les wat almal hieruit moet leer dat daar 'n verband is tussen voedselsekuriteit en die winsgewendheid van landbou. As koring winsgewend verbou kan word, sal boere dit plant en so verseker dat daar genoeg kos bekostigbaar geproduseer word. Die omgekeerde is natuurlik ook waar.
High food prices is not only a problem in South Africa, it is gripping the whole world. This is compounded by the increasing global populations and resultant food demands on the one hand and limited natural resources, demands for alternative energy and the effects of climate change, on the other.
Continual improvement of agriculture infrastructure is important, as farming remains an economic activity. Better research, improved extension and water quality, access roads, etc therefore remain a priority. Rural development and the alleviation of poverty only become possible if there is continued growth in the agricultural sector. Continued growth in the agricultural sector is again only possible if the sector continues to be competitive nationally and internationally.
Die Departement van Landbou, kommersiële boere en opkomende boere is van die belangrikste rolspelers om van landbou in Suid-Afrika 'n sukses te maak en voedselsekuriteit te waarborg. Die groot uitdaging in die volgende paar jaar gaan wees om die regte balans te kry tussen hierdie verskillende rolspelers.
In hierdie opsig is kommersiële boere net so 'n deel van die oplossing as wat die opkomende boere is. Te dikwels word kommersiële boere as die probleem en nie as deel van die oplosing gesien nie - en dit help nie om hier na individuele gevalle te verwys nie. Verantwoordelike venootskappe tussen kommersiële en opkomende boere kan baie van die huidige probleme aanspreek. Verantwoordelike vennootskappe behels egter begrip vir die verwagtinge van opkomende boere sowel as ook begrip vir die probleme en onsekerhede van kommersiële boere.
'n Kommersiële boer het my onlangs voorgekeer en gekritiseer omdat ek net praat van opkomende en kommersiële boere. Volgens hom is daar naas kommersiële en opkomende boere ook nog 'n derde groep boere, naamlik wat hy noem ondergaande kommersiële boere en daaraan moet ook aandag gegee word.
Van die probleme en onsekerhede van boere waarvoor daar begrip moet wees is onder andere verhoogde insetkostes en lae winsgewendheid, ondoeltreffende steunstelsels, volhoubare hulpbronbestuur en veral veiligheid en sekuriteit.
Hoewel almal in Suid-Afrika met misdaad te kampe het, het landelike misdaad 'n skokkende statistiek geword. Misdaad op plase bly 'n ernstige probleem. Onlangs het ons byvoorbeeld die ongelukkige voorval by Bultfontein gehad waar, na bewering, polisiereserviste by so 'n plaasaanval betrokke was. Die kernprobleem bly die veiligheidsvakuum wat ontstaan het na die afskaffing van die kommando's. Daarom is die veiligheid en sekuriteitsforum tussen die lanbou unies en die polisie, waarna in die hersiene landboustrategieplan verwys word, uiters belangrik.
Die uitnodiging van die President van die Republiek van die Kongo aan Suid-Afrikaanse boere om daar te kom boer, sê ook iets van Afrika en van hoe Afrika die belangrikheid van die Suid-Afrikaanse boere sien. Die regering van die Republiek van die Kongo is bereid om kosteloos vir Suid-Afrikaanse kommersiële boere eksklusiewe gebruiksreg oor plase vir 99-jaar termyne te gee. Boonop kry boere 'n vyfjaar belastingvakansie en word hulle vrygestel van invoerbelasting op alle lanbou-insette en toerusting.
Winste en beleggings kan ter enige tyd weer uit die land geneem word. Die regering van die Kongo het staatsplase in die vrugbare Niarri-vallei, wat gesamentlik meer as 135 000ha groot is, uitsluitlik vir Suid-Afrikaanse boere geoormerk en 'n verdere 10 miljoen hektaar kan ook beskikbaar gestel word. Om 'n Suid-Afrikaanse boer wat winsgewend boer te verloor, vind ek altyd 'n groot jammerte en 'n verlies vir Suid-Afrika. [Tussenwerpsels.] Ek dink nie jy boer nie, so ek luister nie na jou nie. Ons moet dit voorkom, want dit is 'n verlies as dit so is. Tog moet die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking en die regering kennis neem van die waarde wat Afrika-regerings aan hierdie boere heg in hulle pogings om Suid-Afrikaanse boere na ander Afrikalande te lok.
Ter aflsuiting, President Zuma glo dat, ten opsigte van landbou, ons oor politieke grense heen genoeg met mekaar in gemeen het om saam die uitrdagings in die landbousektor te kan aanpak. Hierdie uitdaging het hy aan ons almal hier teenwoordig gestel. Die toekoms sal leer tot watter mate ons – en dis nou almal hier teenwoordig wat 'n belang daarby het – in belang van almal in Suid-Afrika hierdie uitdagings gaan aanvaar en suksesvol sal aanpak in belang van elkeen in Suid-Afrika. Ek dank u. [Applous.]
Mr L B GAEHLER / NP / END OF TAKE
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
Mr L B GAEHLER: Hon Minister, Deputy Minister, hon members, in a world where financial uncertainty and food scarcity threatens the food security of every nation, the manner in which we manage our domestic agricultural sector is of great importance. The budget before us reflects, to a certain degree, that importance.
We appeal to the Minister to prioritise two matters. Firstly, there is the question of supporting existing and emerging farmers. Frankly, rural development - which now has its own Ministry - will not go anywhere if the rural economy is not revitalised. The key to this lies in agriculture and agri-related enterprises.
The UDM welcomes the monies allocated in this budget to agricultural support and the projected 22% annual growth over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period. We need to create job opportunities in rural areas whilst increasing our domestic production of food.
This brings me to the other priority that the UDM urges the Minister to focus on, namely food security. The rising cost of food is a threat to our economy and to the individual household. We have to encourage the production of sufficient and reasonably priced food. This is not just a strategic necessity, but a moral obligation. In all of this government must promote enterprise and productivity, and reward and encourage creativity and hard work. I can guarantee you that the people in the rural areas will surprise everybody.
Mphathiswa weSebe loPhuhliso lwezamaPhandle, ohloniphekileyo Gugile Nkwinti masikwamkele.
We have worked with you and I think you will bring about some changes in the rural areas.
Abantu phaya ezilalini bayalamba njengoko usazi mhlekazi kwezi ndawo sivela kuzo. Masithembe ke ukuba ekungeneni kwakho kuya kubakho utshintsho. Enkosi.
Mr E M SULLIMAN / END OF TAKE
Mr L B GAEHLER
Mr E M SULLIMAN: Hon Speaker, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, hon members, leaders of organised agriculture if they are present, government officials, ladies and gentlemen, I am a new member of the National Assembly and also of this committee. That is why it is my privilege and honour to participate in this first Budget Vote for agriculture in the fourth democratically elected Parliament.
Voor ek begin, wil ek net iets noem. Ek is self ook 'n boer, maar ek het nooit geweet waar ek inpas nie. Is ek 'n opkomende boer of is ek 'n kommersiële boer? Ek weet nou waar ek inpas. Die agb Adjunkminister het genoem waar ek inpas. Ek is nou besig om 'n ondergaande boer te raak. [Gelag.] [Tussenwerpsels.]
When President Zuma spoke to the newly elected ANC MPs on 14 May 2009 at our first caucus meeting, he made it clear that past practices in which ruling party MPs shied away from criticising the executive should be a thing of the past. He said that MPs must not be user-friendly to the executive, especially those not delivering. He said that in our case, he believed, our executive would deliver because he knew them very well, and that Parliament had a serious role to play to ensure that government delivered.
Agb Speaker, die Uitvoerende Bestuur en die amptenare van die Departement van Landbou kan verseker wees van ons komitee se samewerking en ook opbouende kritiek. Deur saam te werk kan ons baie vermag.
In 2003, six years ago, we signed the Maputo Declaration with other African Union heads of state and governments in which we committed ourselves to allocating at least 10% of our national budget to agriculture. In analysing the agricultural budget, it is clear that it still remains far below the commitment we made in Maputo. It dropped by 9,8% in real terms in 2009-10 compared to the previous year of 2008-09. But it is expected to increase in the two outer years of the MTEF period.
The department received a budget of R2,792 billion during the 2009-10 financial year, which represents only 0,65% of the total allocation of the national government. And, if we compare that now to the 10%, it really fell far short. I would like to make an urgent appeal to National Treasury to improve this situation, given the important role agriculture plays in our poverty alleviation programmes and the country's food security.
The Polokwane resolutions called upon us to embark on an integrated programme of rural development, land reform and agrarian change. The budget must focus on these resolutions. Agrarian reform and rural development is also one of the five key priorities identified in our election manifesto. I would like to quote from the President, his Excellency JG Zuma, in the state of the address this year. I quote: "Working together with our people in the rural areas, we will ensure a comprehensive rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security."
Na aanleiding van die bogenoemde beleidsrigtings van die ANC-regering is dit duidelik dat die landbou 'n baie belangrike rol speel. In my debat sal ek vervolgens meer konsentreer op Program 3, die landbouondersteuningsdienste.
Tans is die grootste probleem met grondhervorming, die swak ondersteuning wat nuwe, klein en kontantarm boere kry as hulle op nuwe grond gevestig word. Daarom is dit noodsaaklik dat daar 'n deeglike ondersoek gelas moet word om vas te stel waarom sekere boere wat deur die staat op grond gevestig is, onsuksesvol is. Wat is die probleme wat hulle ervaar? Die beginsel van, gebruik dit of verloor dit, kan dan wel later toegepas word na hierdie opkomende boere wel hulp gekry het en nog steeds nie suksesvol kan boer nie. Dan het ons geen probleem met dit nie. 'n Deeglike ondersoek sal van kardinale belang wees.
Die landbouondersteuningsdienste beslaan die grootste deel van die departement se totale begroting, naamlik R1696,2 miljoen. Dit is 60,73% van die departement se totale begroting. Dit het met 9,08 % toegeneem in vergelyging met die vorige boekjaar wat plus, minus 50,2% was. Dit is egter verblywend om hierdie toename binne die department se begroting waar te neem.
Die doel van hierdie Program 3 is juis om beleide te ontwikkel vir geteikende programme vir billike toegang tot die landbousektor vir opkommende boere. Dit maak voorsiening vir risiko- en rampbestuur. Verder maak dit ook voorsiening vir landbouonderwys- en opleiding, landbouvoorligting en raadgewende dienste, wetenskaplike navorsing en tegnologiese ontwikkeling.
The allocation to Casp is expected to rise from R538 million in 2008 to about R979,3 million in 2011-12 at an average annual growth rate of 22,14%. There will be increased transfers for assistance to emerging black farmers and communities. This is in line with the ANC government's priorities to concentrate more on the postsettlement of beneficiaries and emerging farmers in terms of its strategy on rural development, but the budget allocation to Casp does not correspond with the budget increases for land reform, and that means more support initiatives for them.
Micro Agricultural Finance Initiative of SA, Mafisa, het in die boekjaar 2007-08 R248 miljoen gekry, maar in die boekjaar daarna, 2008-09, het hulle slegs R22,1 miljoen gekry. Daarom het ons probleme ondervind. In my kiesafdeling is daar opkomende boere wat ses maande gelede aansoek gedoen het vir die Mafisa fondse, maar Landbank het net gesê hulle het nie geld nie. Dis die rede waarom daar in die vorige boekjaar so min geld toegeken is vir hierdie projek. Ons het die goeie nuus gekry dat dit nou gaan verbeter.
Ons sal ook egter moet kyk na die rentekoerse wat gehef word. Die Mafisa is 'n langtermynlening wat mens kan aangaan. Die rentekoerse is 'n bietjie beter, maar nog steeds te hoog. Ek dink dit kan verder gesubsideer word om die opkomende boere te help. Die Minister van Finansies het egter ook belowe dat die regering voorstelle deur die bestuur van die Landbank sal oorweeg om bietjie hul balanstaat te versterk. Huidiglik kry hulle ook maar baie swaar.
Over the MTEF period, the department plans to recruit more or less 5 000 new extension officers. They will provide much-needed agricultural advice and production assistance to some 500 000 farmers – a half a million farmers - over the three-year period.
Die opleiding van ons jeug om in 'n landbourigting te studeer kan ook verder aangemoedig word. Tans bied te min sekondêre skole landbouvakke aan. Studiebeurse in landbou kan meer voorsien word aan leerlinge en studente om hulle aan te moedig om in 'n landbourigting te studeer. Ons moet die jeug kweek om toekomstige landbouers te kan word.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Sulliman, try to wrap up.
Mr E M SULLIMAN: Okay, Sir. I will conclude. [Laughter.]
Ek wil net 'n beroep doen op die kommersiële boere om hul samewerking te gee. In gebiede waar sekere van die kommersiële boere baie grond besit, kan hulle dit teen redelike pryse beskikbaar stel. Hulle kan ook optree as mentors vir die opkomende boere. Baie dankie [Applous.]
Mr P J GROENEWALD / Src/nb / END OF TAKE
Mr E M SULLIMAN
Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Geagte Voorsitter, ek het verlede jaar in hierdie begrotingsdabat gesê een van die beste landbouvooruitsigte vir die boere is dat die voormalige Minister van Landbou nie weer die Minister van Landbou sal wees nie. So ek was heeltemal korrek. Enige persoon wat iets weet van landbou sal weet na 'n lang droogte, as 'n mens daar op die plaas rondstap, ryk jy soms die reën in die wind. Ek wil vir die agb Minister sê die uitsprake wat sy maak is 'n nuwe, vars briesie vir die boere. Daardeur sê ek nie vir haar sy is die reënkoningin nie. Die tyd sal nog leer.
Die slagspreuk van die agb Minister is om te sê, saam sal ons beter doen. U is reg agb Minister, maar u het 'n groot taak op u skouers. U sal eers die boere weer aan u kant moet kry, want u voorganger het u beslis nie 'n guns gedoen nie. U voorganger het die boere vervreemd, veral die blanke kommersiële boere. Die uitsprake wat sy gemaak het was nie in belang van landbou nie, maar in belang van die ideologiese stryd wat sy nog steeds probeer voer het teen die boere.
Die boere vra nie spesiale behandeling nie. Die boere vra erkenning vir die moeilike omstandighede waarin hulle 'n produk probeer lewer en 'n bydra wat hulle lewer tot Suid-Afrika. As u daardie erkenning sal gee vir die boere, kan ek u verseker, hulle sal aan u kant kom en u sal dan kan sê, saam sal ons beter kan doen.
Die boere vra ook nie spesiale beskerming nie. Wat die boere net wil sê is, luister as ons praat. In 2002 het Graan Suid-Afrika die voormalige Minister en die regering gewaarsku dat as hulle nie die boere beskerm teen die invoer van koring nie, gaan hulle 'n krisis kry. 'n Paar jaar daarna is daar toe'n krisis. Toe weet die regering nie waar die krisis vandaan kom nie.
Landbou is soos 'n besigheid. As dit nie wins lewer nie, kan dit nie bestaan nie. Dis so eenvoudig soos dit. Dit is hoekom die koringboere destyds die landbou verlaat het en gestop het met die produsering van koring. Aan die einde van die dag is dit die verbruiker wat daardie prys moet betaal. Ek wil afsluit en vir die agb Minister sê, dat sy 'n reuse taak op haar skouers het. Die tyd sal leer of sy wel die reënkoningin gaan wees. [Tyd verstreke.]
Ms C DUDLEY/ END OF TAKE
Mr P J GROENEWALD
Ms C DUDLEY: Chair, hon Ministers, agriculture plays a central role in rural development and, with increasing numbers of people benefiting from land redistribution, support initiatives are critical. Targets in supporting emerging farmers proved unrealistic in 2008-09 as just under half of the 80 000 targeted were actually supported.
Now that the total budget has dropped by nearly 10% in real terms, support initiatives look to be more constrained than ever. Despite the encouraging things that you have been said, hon Minister, the budget allocated to provide post-settlement support will need, more than ever, to be used effectively and efficiently.
The drastically increased budget for consultants and professional services raises some concerns. However, emerging farmers are going to need professional assistance to ensure sustainability.
With the present economic downturn in mind, the ACDP is particularly concerned that there appears to be no special allocation for agricultural starter packs. Rising food prices threaten food security and necessitate initiatives to protect the vulnerable. Starter packs for household vegetable gardens are essential.
Job creation, another national priority, highlights the importance of not undervaluing the role of agriculture in our economy. The number of jobs created per unit of investment is higher in agriculture than any other sector and supports some 8,5 million people. Despite promises made in the Maputo Declaration in 2003 to increase the allocation in the national budget for agriculture to 10% within five years, agriculture comprises less than 1% of our national budget.
The ACDP is concerned about the minimal focus on veterinary science. Globally, there is a lack in disaster preparedness and experts say South Africa is no more prepared than other nations. For example, reports of a highly contagious disease affecting bees reveal that we have neither quarantine regulations nor adequate legislation to deal with the threat to South Africa's food security. The ACDP calls on the Minister to act urgently to contain this threat.
Sadly, this budget is grossly inadequate to meet the huge demands currently on the Department of Agriculture. So, while the ACDP will support the budget, we do so reluctantly.
Mr J P GELDERBLOM/ END OF TAKE
Ms C DUDLEY
Mnr J P GELDERBLOM: Voorsitter, eerstens, my gelukwensinge aan Minister Tina Joemat-Petersen met haar aanstelling. Ek glo sy is die regte persoon, op die regte tyd en op die regte plek. Baie sterkte en baie sukses. Ook aan Adjunkminister, Peter Mulder, wil ek sê dat ek aan sy patriotisme glo. Ek is oortuig dat hy in elk geval ook vir landbou gaan dien. Ek wil vir hom sê dat 'n oom van Namakwaland my gebel en gesê het dat ek die Minister moet sê om van sy voertuig ontsla te raak. Hy het verduidelik dat daardie voertuig waarmee hy ry, elke nag van drie tot sewe breek en dat die Minister dan nie 'n oog sal kan toemaak nie. Ek wil net vir hom sê, baie sterkte en voorspoed.
Ek sal hoofsaaklik fokus op Program 4 van die begroting wat handel oor ekonomiese groei, nasionale en internasionale handel en markte. Uit die aard van die saak sal die sukses van hierdie Program grootliks afhang van die implimentering van ander begrotingsprogramme in die totale landbou begroting.
In this budget it is clear that government is serious about our national and international agricultural markets. And the reason therefore is that market access for agricultural products is an important catalyst for job creation and foreign capital, and it ensures economic growth and food security.
Agtermiddag het die Minister ook daarna verwys toe sy gesê het sy steun baie sterk die platteland, sy voel baie sterk oor navorsing en sy is ook sterk ten gunste van die mentorskap. Ek dink dis 'n baie duidelike boodskap wat sy agtermiddag uitgestuur het oor hoe sy voel oor landbou en dit sal ons ook baie help, spesifiek in hierdie Program 4.
Our trade - domestic and international - depends on food production by our farmers, on the sale of products to national and international markets and on ensuring that there is sufficient amount of food produced for domestic and international demands.
I am glad that this budget addresses the challenges to secure sustainable market access. This can only be achieved if the quality of our food products is of outstanding value, if the input cost of the products can be lowered, if our food product prices are competitive with those of international products, if there are reliable buying partners, and if research of food products is done on an internationally acceptable basis.
The outcome of research from research units and the transfer of this information to our farmers are of paramount importance. This will enable farmers and agricultural businesses to compete with quality products in a challenging world. In this budget there is a focus on programmes to make farming more business oriented.
Ek verwelkom dit.
In these programmes the challenge is to listen to the inputs made by agriculture experts in the marketing of products and to farmers with practical agricultural expertise.
I am glad to say that the different stakeholders in agriculture are already working together with the National Agricultural Marketing Council. The outcome over the past two years of this co-operation has been very positive, but there are still many challenges to be addressed. These partnerships need to be strengthened, and within the partnerships we need to collaborate through debate and constructive inputs to enable agriculture in South Africa to improve its international competitiveness
Met ons uitdaging om landbou weer 'n netto uitvoerder van landbouprodukte te maak, benodig ons sterk en rigtinggewende vennootskappe. Ons sal moet sterk standpunt inneem oor die ooreenkomste van die Departement van Landbou, Bosbou en Vissery. Verblydend dat dit in die begroting duidelik uitgespel word dat ons hulp wil verleen aan ons uitvoerders met die oogmerk om handel binnelands en buitelands sterker en duidelik te bevorder.
In hierdie ontwikkeling moet ons meer van plaaslike landboukundiges gebruik maak wanneer dit by onderhandelings met internasionale rolspelers kom en wanneer vennootskappe gesluit word. Ons het baie kundiges op die praktiese landbougebied. Ek dink hulle insette is belangrik vir ons vir die pad vorentoe.
Die internasionale handel sal hom grootsliks laat lei deur die kwaliteit van ons produkte wat ons gaan voorsien. Daar is nie 'n alternatief vir 'n kwaliteit landbouproduk nie. Daarom, 'n ernstige versoek dat meer fondse bewillig word vir 'n volgehoue landbounavorsing. Dit is ons antwoord op 'n dalende ekonomiese mark, plaaslik en internasionaal.
In die proses om Suid-Afrika se landbouprodukte op die internasionale mark suksesvol te bemark, is dit ook wenslik dat ons ons nuwe opkomende boere vertroud moet maak met die reëls en die vereistes van die internsionale handel.
Market access needs partnerships between exporting farmers and emerging farmers. It is important to assist our emerging sector to commercialise their production entities and secure sustainable market access.
Mentorskappe, en u het reeds daarna verwys, is kardinaal in toekomstige uitbreiding van handel om die internasionale mark te betree. Daar sal ernstig gedink moet word in hoe 'n mate begrotings aangepas moet word in die program, om mentorskappe finansieel op 'n aanvaarbare wyse te ondersteun. Ek is baie bly vir daardie mentorskappe wat onlangs reeds gesluit is.
In hierdie begrotingsprogramme sal daar egter ook gelet moet word op alternatiewe metodes van bemarking van landbouprodukte. In die verband bepleit ek groter sinergie tussen staatsdepartemente en die Departement van Landbou, Bosbou en Vissery. Ek het verlede jaar die voorreg gehad om China en Indië te besoek en dis vir my baie duidelik dat daar 'n totale gebrek is aan landbouprodukte van Suid-Afrika op die rakke daar. Dit is vir my noodsaaklik dat hier 'n baie groter samewerking moet kom tussen die Departemt van Landbou, Bosbou en Vissery en die Departement van Handel en Nywerheid.
Ekonomiese groei vereis volgehoue en doelgerigte opleiding van die landbouers. Bestaande landbouers en nuwe toetreders beskik nie altyd oor die nodige bemarkingsvaardighede of ontwikkelingsvaardighede in die bemarking van hulle landbouprodukte nie.
Die Agriseta is veronderstel om hier 'n rol te speel. Gebrek aan praktykvaardigheid by opleidingsvoorsieners blyk 'n bekommernis te wees.
There are still training providers registered with the Agricultural Sector Education Training Authority without in-house expertise to conduct training, and there are still services providers without proper training material. Everything is based on outsourcing.
My problem with that is how we can secure and monitor quality. How can we improve the competitiveness of the agricultural sector if there is a crucial lack of skills development and various quality systems of service-provider priorities are lacking? How effective was the learnership programme of the Agriseta in the past four years? How many of these learners are currently in a full-time position in the agriculture sector? How many agricultural entrepreneurs were developed through this in-service training?
Isn't it time we sat around the table and looked at an apprenticeship programme in which competent agricultural employees were developed around a product-specific value chain? Not only could employees be developed, but existing and new agri-entrepreneurs could be developed in a supportive environment. Through this, we could address more black entrepreneurs, more trade - national and international - higher production and more access to agricultural services.
Opleiding van opleiers en kundiges se deurgee van kennis aan nuwe toetreders van landbou bly belangrik. Die Suid-Afrikaanse Landbou Akademie, is 'n Seta, Sektorale onderwys- en opleidingsowerheid, Sector Education Training Authority, geakkrediteerde opleidingsvoorsiener met opleidingsfasiliteite, opleiers en kundiges wat sterk fokus op bemarking van Suid-Afrika se produkte. In Nederland is hulle baie betrokke met regverdige handel. Hulle is ook in Duitsland betrokke met bessiepoeier. Hulle is spesifiek daarop ingestel om Suid-Afrika se produkte van opkomende boere, in die buiteland te bemark deur middel van daardie instellings.
Ek is oortuig dat die globale finansiële resessie 'n baie groot invloed op Suid-Afrika se landbou gehad het. Ek is oortuig dat daar hoop is vir landbou en dat landbou in die regte hande is. Ek is oortuig dat hierdie regering daarop ingestel is om toe te sien dat kommersiële boere, opkomende boere en landbou hul regmatige plek sal verdien wat hul toekom. Baie dankie. [Tyd verstreke.] [Applous.]
Ms I C DITSHETELO ///tfm/ src///END OF TAKE
Mr J P GELDERBLOM
Ms I C DITSHETELO: Chairperson, Minister, the budget allocation for the Department of Agriculture is less than 1% of the total national budget. The allocation of R2,79 billion for 2009-10 is less than the previous financial year's allocation of R2,95 billion.
The UCDP is concerned about how this department will reach its objective of service delivery using this limited budget given that agriculture is the backbone of most countries' economies, including South Africa's. How will the department ensure access to sufficient, safe and nutrious food; eliminate skewed participation and inequity in agriculture; maximise growth, employment and income in agriculture; improve the sustainable management of natural agricultural resources and ecological systems; and ensure effective and sufficient governance as well as information management.
Rural development has emerged as one of government's top priorities in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period. In his state of the nation address, the President made it clear that intervention in the second economy would include support for small and micro enterprises and rural development initiatives. The Minister of Finance highlighted the fact that increasing agricultural output, raising rural incomes and supporting small-scale farmers were key objectives of the rural development strategy.
The rapid rise of food prices experienced in the past year has threatened food security in the country and necessitated initiatives to protect the vulnerable from high food prices. We doubt is this budget will reach this objective. [Time expired.]
Mrs M N PHALISO
Ms I C DITSHETELO
Mev M N PHALISO: Voorsitter, eerstens wil ek die Minister gelukwens, asook die Adjunkminister dr Pieter Mulder. Ek groet ook die Huis, alle LPs, die gehoor, dames en here, toehoorders en luisteraars.
Landbou en grondhervorming vind uitdrukking in die Vryheidsmanifes op Kliptown, 1955. Ingelig deur die uitdagings wat minderbevoorregte swartgemeenskappe in die gesig gestaar het, word ons herinner dat die mense sal deelhê aan die land se rykdom. Die grond sal onderverdeel word deur dié wat dit bewerk.
Laat ons voorraad neem van hoe ver ons gekom het deur die mandaat wat die kontrak van die mense gesluit het en of dit uitgevoer is deur die begrotingimplementeringsplan. Die sleutel tot transformasie is om nuwe voorraad vir opkomende boere en kleinbestaansboere te voorsien. Ons moet waardetoevoeging deur gesonde diere, goeie stoetdiere en kuddediere van goeie gehalte versorg met ondersteuningsprogramme van beide die regering en privaatvennote.
As die landelike gemeenskappe ook veeartsenyopleiding geniet, sal ons ook die verandering van vinnige ekonomiese groei toon ten opsigte van gesonde kuddediere wat melk gee en slagbeeste wat net vir daardie doel geboer sal word.
Onderstepoort, die opleidingsentum – daardie praktiese navorsingopleiding is nodig vir swartboere waar hulle ook in die taal wat hulle verstaan opgelei kan word. Dit is ook belangrik dat ons voorligtingbeamptes kry om hierdie swartboere by te staan. Ons sal ook moet gaan kyk na 'n Uitgebreide Openbare Werke-program, UOWP, vir landbou, veral vir ons kleinboere in landelike gemeenskappe. [Applous.]
Kommersiële boere moet na die partytjie toe kom. Koördinering deur die drie sfere van regering moet die leiding neem, want net deur saam te werk kan ons meer doen. Teikengroepe soos veral vrouens kan nie genoeg beklemtoon word nie. Die vroueboer van die jaar is slegs een moniteringstelsel waarmee gemeet kan word hoeveel bemagtiging in hierdie sektor gedoen is. Hierdie studiegroep doen 'n beroep dat in die nuwe boekjaar grond vir opkomende swartboere beskikbaar gestel sal word sodat armoede hok geslaan kan word deur weidingsveld vir die vee en grootskaalse landerye vir voedsel en gewasse soos koring, mielies, boontjies en aartappels, ensovoorts as ons vrouens wil akkomodeer - en ek praat veral van die jong vroue.
Plaaslike regering, in samewerking met die Departement van Openbare Werke – want dit is 'n leemte wat ontstaan op plaaslike vlak – sal moet ingryp met die daarstelling van grond aan die onmiddelike tuinbou vir huishoudings.
Infrsastruktuur sal ook bespoedig moet word, veral in landelike gebiede, in die vorm van paaie, vervoerbare water, elektrisiteit en besproeiingstelsels. Ons opkomende boere het ook pakhuise nodig, sowel as saad en trekkers. Implemente vir klein opkomende boere, sowel as bedrading vir hul kampe.
Hoeveel kan ons armoede nie elimineer in landelike gebiede regoor die land deur die begroting direk te skakel met waar die grootste behoefte is nie, want as die begroting direk met die behoefte skakel, sal ons heelwat armoede kan elimineer.
Met vordering van die nasionale welvaart waar die staat privaatkapitaal, koöperatiewe en ander vorme van sosiale eienskappe wat mekaar komplementeer in 'n geïntegreerde manier om armoede te elimineer deur onderverdeling te koester in ekonomiese groei. Terwyl navorsing gedoen word, is dit nodig dat loodsprojekte daargestel word wat lei na vaardigheid en besigheid in die landboubedryf, veral vir jou kleinskaalse boere.
Die landelike situasie in Suid-Afrika word steeds gekenmerk deur verdeeldheid. Daar is welvarende ontwikkelde gebiede waar die meerderheid van die mense, spesifiek landelike vrouens, aanhoudend in die vernedering van armoede leef. Die begroting moet vermeerder om leemtes aan te spreek, want die vrouens bly agter en die gaping word al hoe groter. Kunsmis wat deur koöperasies verskaf word, met 'n instelling van verskaffing van lidmaatskap aan nuwe toetreders, sowel as die pryse aan kleinboere, moet ook hersien word. Hierdie is 'n ernstige beroep tot samewerking om die kleinboere op te bou en te bemagtig.
Ons doen ook 'n beroep op die Minister om in die nuwe boekjaar toegang tot die mark vir beide die landboubedryf en lewende diere aan te spreek. Die Noordkaap sal dit hoog op prys stel dat daar 'n landboukollege in die lewe geroep word, so ook verafgeleë plekke in die boendoes van ons land.
Baie is gedoen betreffende omvorming van die departemente van landbou en grondhervorming. Nie alle gebiede in hierdie sektor het die agterstand baasgeraak nie - die 4% landboubedryfgrond in die 15 jaar is 'n druppel in die emmer. Deur geïntegreerde samewerking is dit nodig om munisipaliteite te kapasiteer wat onderpresteer om te verseker dat hulle geskikte en doeltreffende diens verskaf waar dit nodig is.
Die beroep is om die onderontwikkelde landelike gebiede te ontwikkel deur 'n groter begroting. Die regerende party, die ANC, was gestig as deel van die vooruitstrewende strydmag dwars oor die wêreld in die geveg teen kolonialisme, rassisme, armoede, onderontwikkeling en geslagsongelykhede. [Applous.] Die globale finansiële krisis vereis 'n globale reaksie, maar dit moet omskep word in 'n geleentheid vir 'n meer demokratiese sisteem van globale ekonomiese en finasiële regering om verbeterde ondersteuning te verleen aan kleinskaalse boere. Toegang tot langtermynbevondsing is 'n ook baie belangrik.
Die Landbank moet sy rol vervul en, as dit nodig is, van sy beleide hersien sodat die balans op 'n gelyke skaal kan kom wat kommersiële en nuwe opkomende swartboere betref. Die sukses van samewerking met en eienaarskap aan landelike gemeenskappe en deur vroue ook deel te maak sodat hulle ook betrokke is by belangrike besluite aangaande boerdery en hulle bemagtig, sal afhang van hoe die begroting hierdie aspekte inwerk, want dit kan slegs deur finansiële bydrae geskied. Dit sal nie sommer net deur handewerk geskied nie, daar moet finansiële hulp verleen word. Versnelde landelike ontwikkeling in landbou en boerdery beteken versnelde groei in die ekonomie vir 'n beter lewe vir almal. Ek dank u. [Applous.]
Mr R B BHOOLA / C.I.//NP(Afr) / END OF TAKE
Mrs M N PHALISO
Mr R B BHOOLA: Chairperson, the role of agriculture in the economies of developing countries is widely acknowledged as playing a role the social and economic development. In the case of South Africa, while agriculture remains a priority, the government faces tremendous challenges.
There was a time when agriculture contributed 20% to our GDP. We must examine the reasons for the decline of agriculture and we must do something to encourage the migration of the youth to agriculture. This is what the country did during the apartheid era.
However, the MF welcomes the special allocation provided to support increased food production in order to combat the food crisis. The resources dedicated to support poor people in our communities must be utilised effectively and efficiently. The rapid rise in food prices over the past year has threatened food security. Rural development, starter packs for small and emerging farmers and acceleration in the pace of land and agrarian reform are vital in
overcoming the challenges we are facing in the agriculture sector. The MF will support the budget. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr P J C PRETORIUS
Mr R B BHOOLA
Mr P J C PRETORIUS: Madam Chairperson, not far from here on the Cape Flats is a very successful farming community - the vegetable farmers of Philippi. My contribution today, which is also my maiden speech, will be about them and the role they play in contributing to our food security.
The Philippi farming area covers some five square kilometres in the middle of the Cape Metropolitan Area. The northern boundary is Lansdowne Road, next to Hanover Park; the western boundary is Strandfontein Road, next to Ottery and Grassy Park; the southern boundary is the proposed False Bay freeway, next to Strandfontein Village; and the eastern boundary is Vanguard Drive, next to Samora Machel and Mitchells Plain.
Most of the 30-odd farmers in the area today are fourth- and fifth-generation descendants of German immigrations of the late 19th century. These immigrants were given land in an area which the then colonial government regarded as wasteland, but through hard work and dedication they and their descendants transformed their small farms into the extremely productive units which they are today. Today they cultivate some 1 100 hectares and the area is often referred to as the "larder of Cape Town", and for good reason. It is estimated that the value of annual production exceeds R200 million.
In 1990, approximately 54% of all vegetables sold at the Cape Town Fresh Produce Market came form Philippi, and some 54 different kinds of vegetable were produced in the area. Today the area produces substantially larger volumes and, apart from still supplying the Cape Town Fresh Produce Market, increasing volumes go directly to private distribution centres and enter the cold chain to ensure a longer shelf life.
Supermarkets, such as Pick 'n Pay, Fruit and Veg City, Spar, Checkers and Woolworths in the Cape Town area, are bulk buyers of Philippi products. Substantial volumes are also exported to Namibia and other African states. Some products, for example carrots, are also exported to European retailers including Tesco.
Various secondary industries have also been established over the years, including nurseries, packaging facilities, organic fertiliser processing, a co-operative, a racehorse training and breeding centre, and mechanical and implements manufacturing and repair facilities. These industries provide an additional 400 to 500 employment opportunities.
Ongeveer 2000 arbeiders werk aktief op die plase. Ongeveer 70% van hulle is ongeskoolde inwoners vanaf naburige nedersettings en baie van hulle is vroue. Die gebied is dus 'n betekenisvolle werkverskaffer op die Kaapse Vlakte.
Die gebied het uitstekende grond- en klimaatsomstandighede vir groenteverbouing en geniet daarby ook die voordeel van voldoende groundwater. In baie gevalle, deur wisselbou toe te pas, word tussen drie en vyf oeste per hektaar per jaar verbou, wat meebring dat werkers vir die grootste deel van die jaar van werk verseker is.
Van die vernaamste produkte wat geproduseer word is kopkool, blomkool, kropslaai, tien ander verskillende soorte sogenaamde "fancy" slaai, wortels, beet, spinasie, seldery, pietersielie, raap, murgpampoentjies, prei, uie, aartappels, soetrissies, gewone rissies, botterskorsies, pampoen, skorsies en verskillende soorte kruie.
Daar word ook intensief snyblomme gekweek, onder meer in plastiese tonnels, met varke geboer en melkerye bedryf.
Vrugteventers en plaaslike verspreiders koop in baie gevalle ook produkte regstreeks op die plase aan en verkoop dit in die omliggende woongebiede en verder.
I am told that these farmers have never ever in their existence of 130 years requested any aid from the government, even in hard times. There can be no doubt that this is an extremely valuable and indispensable farming area in the Western Cape which should be nurtured at all cost.
Owing to its location and proximity to residential areas, the area is likely to increasingly come under threat from developers who are prepared to pay exorbitant prices for land. Unfortunately, the first signs are already there. We should not allow that to happen.
Selling off one piece of farming land, even on the fringes, will set a process in motion which will be difficult to stop and which could jeopardise the agricultural contribution of the area and threaten food security in our city and province. Should this be allowed, the big loser will not only be Philippi, but Cape Town, the Western Cape and South Africa and the tens and thousands of consumers who eat Philippi products every day without even realising where they come from. Consistency of food supply - food security - is needed and this area plays a critical part in the greater Cape Town area and even beyond to ensure that.
Allow me to end on a more personal note. Almost to the day, 35 years ago, I started work as a young Hansard reporter on the gallery of this very Chamber, and in later years sat as a secretary at the Table. It is therefore with nostalgia and also a real sense of appreciation of the responsibility of my role that I stand here today. In my time here I saw many a good and many, shall I say, not-so-good politician operate in this Chamber.
In closing, I wish to pay tribute to just four of them from these benches of yesteryear who helped shape the democratic South Africa that we all enjoy today. Together with others, they fought consistently for many years, against overwhelming odds, for the principles of the rule of law, of equality, of human rights and of opportunity - those same principles that my party today proudly espouses. I refer to Helen Suzman, Colin Eglin, Alex Boraine and Federick van Zyl Slabbert. I am privileged to be able to honour their legacy here today. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr S ABRAM /ES/Eng/Nvs (Afr) / END OF TAKE
Mr P J C PRETORIUS
Mnu S ABRAM: Mhlali ngaphambili, ngokusebenzisana sisonke singenza okuninzi. [Chairperson, together we can do a lot.]
Ek wil die agb lid Pretorius, vir wie ek al 'n kwarteeu ken, gelukwens met sy nooienstoespraak en ook sy kennis oor die reëls en regulasies van hierdie agbare Huis. Die agb Minister en die Adjunkminister, ek wil u gelukwens met u nooienstoesprake in hierdie hoedanigheid, en ek het opdrag van die mense in die landbougemeenskap, dis nou werkers, boere, opkomende boere en almal, dat ek vir u albei hartlik gelukwens met hierdie pos en vra dat u 'n oopdeurbeleid sal volg en altyd bereidwillig sal wees om na standpunte te luister al verskil daardie standpunte met die van ons regering.
Voorsitter, ek het aandagtig geluister na van die toesprake hier, en u weet ek glo ook dat as daar 'n nooienstoespraak hier gemaak is,'n mens nie baie graag daarop wil reageer nie, maar my goeie vriend, mnr Lourie Bosman, het onder andere gepraat van voedselsekerheid en dat daar toepaslike invoertariewe behoort te wees ten opsigte van die invoer van kos.
I would like to say that we need to be very careful when we import foodstuffs that are being produced here and can be produced here, and when we should actually be building on that production. A small example is the following: every time you import a kilogram, of say, Brazilian chicken, you are importing with it a kilogram of maize because that chicken has consumed a kilogram of maize in that country. This means that we are run short of a kilogram of maize for every kilogram of chicken that we import. Our industry suffers as a result thereof.
We need to nurture our industries. We need to develop them and build them further. And, mind you, as far as the broiler industry is concerned, there are tremendous possibilities for up and coming people. Of course, it is a highly capital-intensive industry, and, of course, Madam Minister, I have come here today with a wish list on behalf of our constituency outside: that your department look very favourably at assisting our people in getting into that industry because, again, the surveys say that more and more people are eating white meat and less red meat, and then I and many others here will be suffering.
Then, of course, the honourable newly elected member Carter spoke about the fact that one must force the hand of business when it comes to food pricing. I think the National Agricultural Marketing Council, NAMC, has conducted some studies and it has come forward with certain facts and figures.
En wragtig, agb Minister, moenie dink dat hierdie groot kapitaliste, die eienaars van die groot kettingwinkels, vir die volk van Suid-Afrika en die arm mense van Suid-Afrika 'n guns bewys nie. Dit gaan alles om hul eie winste. Dit gaan alles om wat die hoofuitvoerende beampte van daardie maatskappy kan kry – hoeveel miljoen rand aan die einde van die jaar. [Applous.]
Therefore, I trust that just as Sasol, an organisation related to us as government, was hoodwinking the farming sector last year by colluding in terms of fertilizer prices – many of us paid R9 000, R10 000, or R12 000 for a ton of fertilizer, which a year before had cost about R2 000 to R2 200 per ton – we need to see that problems like collusion in prices are curbed.
So, I agree with hon Carter there, but then she spoke about South African farmers who are seeking greener pastures in the DRC and that we are in danger and that we are in trouble. I want to assure the hon member Carter that my information is that those people are diversifying; they are not putting all their eggs in one basket. They are still farmers in this country but, you see, they have children that are growing up and those children must be exposed to Africa. And why shouldn't we, if our farmers are willing to help our fellow Africans grow food, participate and encourage them to do so? [Applause.]
As far as allocating more funds is concerned towards land reform,
assisting beneficiaries and seeing to it that this whole programme succeeds, I want to tell the hon member Carter that I disagree that allocating more funds, as she says, is not the way to go. We need to say - and I agree with colleagues who have spoken before - that our budgets are not aligned with international commitments that we have made as a country. We need to see to it that agriculture gets more money so that we can grow the sector and especially the emerging sector.
Andersinds gaan hierdie land onder – nie net die boere nie, die hele land... [... the entire country will suffer, not only the farmers, but the entire country ...]
... if we cannot grow food and assist that particular sector. And may I say, hon Minister, that what is important is for the department to have mechanisms and systems in place so that every rand we have is spent optimally, so that there is no wastage, so that where it is necessary for two officials to be flown somewhere, that two and not 20 fly and we spend unnecessarily.
Mrs Dudley spoke here of a budget for consultants. I must say that we need to look at that aspect as well. It is a cause for grave concern. The honourable chairperson of my portfolio committee spoke about the Land Bank, calling for a moratorium on action to be taken against people who, in many cases, through no fault of their own, are unable to service their loans. I understand that upward of 800 such cases are being pursued by the Land Bank. It is a pity that in the heart of winter last year the Department of Agriculture lost control of the Land Bank. I make bold to say this - in spite of warnings from the portfolio committees at that time and one of my former chairpersons is also sitting here - about the way the bank was being run and the way business was conducted.
However, we must now appeal through the Minister that we assist those people in whatever way we can. Perhaps the loans can be extended, the terms can be extended. But, then again, our problem is that the interest rates of the Land Bank and the way they do business are not farmer-friendly. Farmers go through extremely difficult periods. If there aren't droughts, then there is too much rain. If there isn't too much rain and it is dry, then there are veld fires. The farmer has a great deal on his plate to counteract.
With regard to some of the reform projects and redistribution projects in which agriculture has to be of assistance, at least 14 farms in the sugar-producing area of Heatonville near Empangeni, which were redistributed, produced reasonably good sugar cane crops in the first year after redistribution, but deteriorated in the second year and were a disaster in the third year. The cumulative effect of this failure is that an average of 50 workers per farm is now without work, with the United Nations norm of there being seven dependants.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, unfortunately your time has expired.
Mr S ABRAM: Chair, I was just warming up and now my time is gone. [Laughter.] Thank you very much, Chair. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
/ML.(Eng)/ Mia (Afr)// Mia /END OF TAKE
Mr S ABRAM
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Chairperson, hon members of Cabinet, and I note a number of Cabinet colleagues and members of the House, I wish to congratulate all those members, particularly those who made their maiden speeches, on making a sizable contribution to the debate on agriculture today. I have noted the suggestions that many of you have made.
I have also noticed the concerns that you have raised. We will look into these and revert to Parliament on some of them in due course. We will collect all your speeches. Please make copies of all your speeches available to us before we get the official versions from Hansard. For that purpose, we will translate most of the Afrikaans speeches into English, as many of our officials did not have translation services available to them.
There are a number of matters that I would like to respond to immediately. For the others, I will have one-on-ones with the members and respond to them in discussions with them. The first is the Land Bank. We are in the process of restructuring and recapitalising the Land Bank. The Land Bank cannot be a commercial bank. In a developmental state, the Land Bank has to a developmental bank that cannot charge lending rates which are higher than commercial banks. [Applause.]
Currently, the Land Bank lends at a rate of prime plus five percent, which is a 19% return on investment, and this is too high for emerging farmers. They would have to plant diamonds if they were to repay their loans to the Land Bank.
The two Ministers, the Deputy Ministers of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform met with the Land Bank last Friday to look at how we can restructure the Land Bank and how we can renew their policies. So, before we take them back, we must first clean house. We don't want them in Agriculture in their current state. So, let the Minister of Finance first clean out the Land Bank in terms of adding more money and then return it to us. [Applause.]
The second point is the economic viability that was spoken about by members Carter and Bosman. Hon member Bosman, it was a sad loss for the commercial agricultural sector when you left to go into politics. I think you were better serving agriculture as a commercial farmer. [Laughter.] [Applause.] But, anyway, now that you are sitting in the House, I have to respond to you as a politician and no longer as a commercial agriculture contributor, which is much better.
Economic viability is the mantra we are calling for. We can no longer settle farmers and two or three months later discover that those farms are dysfunctional or that those farms have run to wrack and ruin.
So, postsettlement support is what we are going to build on. We are confronted by an approach which forces us to be different towards commercial agriculture. Our confrontational approach towards the commercial agricultural sector already started changing from day one in terms of seeking to have a more co-operative approach with commercial agriculture.
In this regard, we have already met with Agri SA, and we will continue having a road show, a roundtrip programme, with members – you are welcome to join us on the road show – meeting emerging farmers and meeting particularly meeting chiefs, as well as traditional leaders, in terms of what their experiences are and what their investment could be in agriculture.
The agriculture sector plan exists. We don't need a new plan. There is already a plan. But what we need to do is to look at the comprehensive rural development programme, which the ruling party developed in the Polokwane resolutions, as well as look at its manifesto resolutions. We don't need to reinvent a plan. We already have a plan. [Applause.]
Farmers who are moving to the Democratic Republic of the Congo will do so with the kind of knowledge base which is needed to grow agriculture in Africa and not only grow agriculture in South Africa. South Africa's farmers must feed South Africa's people, but Africa's farmers must also feed Africa's people.
The only caution that we gave our commercial agricultural farming sector, and we engaged with Agri SA on this, is that when they go, we cannot give them guarantees; that if the DRC decides to take back the land that they don't come crying back to us to say that the land was taken away from them, as happened in Zimbabwe. So, when they go, they mustn't expect us to guarantee them their land or to act as security. We will not guarantee them any security. They are going as any private-sector business to invest in another country. If they lose their investments, they mustn't be crybabies and come back to us. [Applause.]
The Food for All campaign is a campaign we have structured with our comprehensive rural development programme, in line with our Limpopo resolutions, to say that there must food for all. High food prices, as well as the threatening of food security for the poorest of the poor, are going to be our challenges in the global economic meltdown.
On the point of agricultural colleges, as part of the Limpopo resolutions and the mandate we received, we have to work hard to make sure that those colleges are viable.
We spoke about the monopoly certain companies have over agricultural production. There are five companies which basically have a monopoly over fertilisers in this country. Those five companies control the prices and where we have to buy, and breaking those monopolies is going to be strategic for us. I am talking about millions of South Africans who have lived in continued poverty, have suffered from ongoing hunger and disease, and have remained unemployed. We cannot have the divide between those who are well off and those who are poor and marginalised continuing in the sector.
So, I'm not planning to be a rain queen. I am planning to address the gap of poverty and the gap of the poor and the marginalised. [Applause.] My mandate is not to strengthen one sector to the disadvantage of the poorest of the poor. [Interjections.] I would have failed in my mandate if I did not achieve the integration of farming communities in South Africa where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
It is in this regard that we must work together to do more. We will listen to all stakeholders. We will listen to those who have competence and skills. We do not have the luxury and the time to reinvent the wheel. There are historically advantaged commercial farmers who have the knowledge and who have the know-how, and there is goodwill amongst white commercial farmers. There exists goodwill. They want to help.
It is tapping into that goodwill that is important and not to always blame and label white commercial farmers as the enemy. They are patriotic. [Applause.] There are patriotic white South Africans who want to help this country, and we will tap into the patriotic white South Africans who believe that their collective future lies in this government and in this country.
We have a new mandate. Many white South Africans believe in the government of the ANC, so don't be challenged by that. We have chosen a path which is not an easy path. The path of bringing stakeholders together in agriculture is not going to be an easy task.
Hierdie pad is 'n verkose pad. Ons het dit gekies. Dit is 'n weldeurdagte pad, omdat ons nou hande moet vat. [This is a chosen path. We have chosen it. As this is a well-thought-out path, we have to take one another's hands.]
We have no choice. We don't have all the knowledge. My officials do not have all the experience and all the capacity. We do not have extension officers with all the knowledge and all the capacity, but we cannot have mentor farmers who are condescending, patronising, racist in their nature. We are going to need mentors who participate in shareholding agreements in joint ventures so that they share the risk of failure. If a farm collapses, it is going to be the responsibility of both white and black farmers to address the failure.
Die breë uitleg wat ons vandag aan u voorhou, agb lede, is ons manier van bevestiging dat elke reis begin met die eerste tree. [The broad framework that we present to you today, hon members, is our way of confirming that every journey starts with one step.]
We are starting with new steps. We apologise if we have made mistakes in the past. Allow me to pay tribute to those who have come before me, like the hon Dirk du Toit, whose tireless efforts in meaningful rural change should be documented. His legacy is what should also be remembered. Hon member, it is not only for you to recognise the legacy of your own party; recognise the legacy of all those in the Chambers who have left footprints for all of us. [Applause.]
It is with sadness that I join my deputy in announcing the untimely passing away last night of our Deputy Director-General: Corporate and Financial Services, Mr Tommy Marais. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues. This is one Afrikaner who also stood for transformation in our department. I will really miss him.
I look forward to working with the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. I look forward to working with our chairpersons and our members of various parliamentary committees. I am also looking forward to working with stakeholders in agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
I would like to thank the director-general and the entire staff of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the relinquishing departments' directors-general, as well as the director-general who is now with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and no longer with Agriculture.
I want to thank the provincial departments of agriculture and the state-owned entities for participating in the work of the department, the chairperson of Agri SA, Mr Möller, for his contribution and for offering advice, even though I don't always agree with him. He does allow me to break my neck. He also allows me to make mistakes.
I hope, hon members in this House, that you will mentor us, that you will monitor us, that you will evaluate us, and that the impact of our programmes will impact your constituencies. If we fail to impact on your constituencies, your oversight will justify our pulling up our bootstraps right up to our necks. Your oversight will justify and vindicate the confidence of our people in this government. We will not be satisfied with anything less. We want to reinforce the message we worked hard for when the people of South Africa crafted the manifesto. The manifesto was not crafted by the ANC Luthuli House.
Our exciting programmes announced before the elections now need implementation. These programmes need to bring us together so that we can do more.
Deur saam te werk, kan ons baie meer vermag. Ons het 'n verantwoordelikheid teenoor die armstes van die armes in hierdie land. [By working together, we can achieve more. We have a responsibility towards the poorest of the poor of this country.]
With our new mandate, we will make a significant contribution to eradicate poverty, to build livelihoods, to build the rural poor and to be a critical and viable instrument and a critical catalyst for rural economic empowerment, black economic empowerment in particular.
I want to thank the former Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs for her hands-on approach as she hands over the baton to the Deputy Minister and me. The chairperson of the portfolio parliamentary committee ...
An HON MEMBER: Communist Party!
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: ... Communist Party. Comrade Lulu Johnson, we will be depending on your vision, we will be depending on your rapping us over the knuckles; and, comrades, in a comradely fashion, you will call us to order. You can recall us, as the organisation knows how to recall those who are talking out of line and who do not adhere to ANC policy. We are here not just to implement the policies of our government, but also to serve the people of our country. Thank you very much, Madam. [Applause.]
The Committee rose at 16:28.
/Mia / END OF TAKE
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