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01 December 2022 - NW3293

Profile picture: Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN

Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

(1) With regard to the increase in land invasions, more so in rural areas, what measures has her department put in place to ensure the security of land boundaries. (2) whether there have been stricter protective measures for (a) women and (b) persons of colour in the attempts to protect land; if not, why not, in each specified case; if so, what are the relevant details in each specified case; (3) what are the relevant details of the steps that are being taken by her department to ensure that agricultural land is not compromised for residential developments, and simultaneously attending to the needs of those who seek land for residential purposes?

Reply:

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION 3293

1. Where the farms belong to the state, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) makes use of the state land available by allocating the land in line with the Beneficiary Selection and Land Allocation Policy to deserving beneficiaries. Furthermore, if the land is invaded, the Department engages the invaders and where there are no agreements, legal processes are taken to legally evict invaders from state farms.

2. No.

(a) and (b) There are no stricter measures for women and persons with colour. Measures put in place are applicable to everyone utilizing state farms.

3. DALRRD administers the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act (SALA), 1970 (Act No. 70 of 1970) to manage and preserve agricultural land for agricultural production.

Section 3(f) of SALA states that no area of jurisdiction, local area, development area, peri-urban area or other area referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of the definition of 'agricultural land' in section 1, shall be established on, or enlarged so as to include, any land which is agricultural land. As such DALRRD receives and evaluates change of land use applications, assesses the development application based on the agricultural planning factors such as land capability, grazing capacity and crop suitability. Should the proposed residential development lead to direct and cumulative impact on agricultural production, the developer is advised to consider alternative site for balanced utilization of the natural resources.

To strengthen DALRRD’s abilities to preserve agricultural land, DALRRD developed the Preservation and Development of Agricultural land Bill which is currently in the parliamentary process. The Bill calls for the delineation of high potential and unique agricultural land for agricultural protection and for the establishment of agricultural sector plans.

To address the needs of those who seek land for residential development, DALRRD has embarked on a process to delineate areas of high potential agricultural land for cultivation and grazing purposes in order to guide the development based on the land capabilities for optimal use. Areas of low potential are demarcated for uses other than agriculture to accommodate other socio-economic activities.

DALRRD has developed guidelines to guide municipalities when developing land use schemes noting their roles in implementing the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013 (Act No.16 of 2013), specifically section (24) which stipulates that municipalities must develop a wall-to-wall Land Use Scheme (LUS) aimed to regulate the use of land within a municipal area.

DALRRD collaborates with municipalities on development of land use schemes to ensure proper zoning regarding the use of high potential agricultural land for agricultural purposes is implemented. DALRRD’s involvement on the land use scheme will aid the municipality to implement a balanced mechanism to cater for developments and agriculture without compromising sustainability.

Finally, the Beneficiary Selection and Land Allocation Policy is meant to allocate land for various purposes including for residential use.

30 November 2022 - NW3448

Profile picture: Mthenjane, Mr DF

Mthenjane, Mr DF to ask the Minister of Small Business Development

What are the details of the (a) nature and (b) causes of the capacity constraints in the Information and Communications Technology Unit that led to her department not being able to hold one of the governance meetings in the first quarter of the current financial year as she reported during the meeting of the report-back on Vote 36 to the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development?”

Reply:

a) The ICT Directorate consists of:

  1. 1 Director,
  2. 1 Deputy Director,
  3. 2 Registry Clerks, and
  4. supported by 2 Sita Support Officials (providing desktop support).

b)(i) On 17 August 2021 a moratorium on filling posts in the Department was declared due to entry of the new Executive Authority.

(ii) The Deputy Director: Information Management/Information Technology Management terminated service on 31 August 2021 which left the Directorate with only 1 technical expert in the ICT space (Director: Chief Information Officer). To be noted is that the 2 registry clerks are not in the field of ICT and the resources from SITA are contracted to provide desktop support services and hence do not form part of the ICT Strategic functions. Further to this, the Director: Chief Information Officer was appointed as Acting Chief Director: Corporate Management after the resignation of the previous incumbent adding greater pressure during this period.

(iii) Approval was received from the Minister to fill the Deputy Director: Information Management/Information Technology post on 25 October 2021.

(iv) The post was advertised in the Public Service Vacancy Circular of November 2021.

(v) The post is filled as of October 2022. The reasons for the delay in recruitment is based on the fact that the HRA sub directorate of the Department had been severely under resourced. Adding to this pressure was the fact that the advertisement was just prior to the festive period and hence efforts to shortlist during this period became challenging. The appointed service provider was inundated with applications due to the volumes received for the posts advertised during this timeframe and resulted in delayed screening and filtering of candidates. This was further exacerbated with the resignation of the DD: HRA and resulted in one Level 8 official to assist with HRA for most of Q1 and Q2 of 2022/23 financial year.

(vi) These shortages affected the ability to coordinate and manage the requisite governance meetings, however had been brought back on track in Q2 and going forward.

STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS

MINISTER: MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

30 November 2022 - NW4454

Profile picture: Pambo, Mr V

Pambo, Mr V to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

(1)What (a) total number of students who applied for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding had their applications rejected in 2022 and (b) were the reasons for the rejection of their applications; (2) whether his department followed up on the students to see how many dropped out because they had no other means of paying for their fees; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1) (a) A total of 143,117 applications were rejected in 2022.

1) (b) Below table presents the rejection reason and count of 2022 applications that have been rejected:

Rejection Reason

Count

Applicant is deceased as per DHA records

                    4

Financially Ineligible (household income exceeds threshold)

          48,549

Highest level of qualification at which NSFAS may fund has already been achieved

          18,069

Insufficient information provided as a result NSFAS cannot make a funding decision

          65,233

Invalid National ID and/or names and surnames provided

                 16

N+ Rule Exceeded

          10,525

Not compliant with the N+ Rule (funding pathway)

                 62

Not compliant with the Academic Eligibility Criteria

                    3

Not Eligible for NSFAS funding, funded by another funder

               656

Grand Total

       143,117

 

 

2.   Currently the Department produces the First-Time Entering Undergraduate Cohort Studies for Public Higher Education Institutions Report which provides a national overview of the dropout and throughput rates within the university sector annually. The Department does not follow-up on students who have not succeeded but is considering doing tracer-studies to establish where graduates and those who have dropped-out are doing.

30 November 2022 - NW4151

Profile picture: Mbabama, Ms TM

Mbabama, Ms TM to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

Whether her department provides a subsidy and/or grant for commercial farmers who provide access to electricity and water for former farmworkers and their families who reside on the farm; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what is the extent of the subsidy?

Reply:

No,

The Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development does not provide any subsidy to commercial farmers in terms of the current legislation.

30 November 2022 - NW4153

Profile picture: Montwedi, Mr Mk

Montwedi, Mr Mk to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

With reference to the 2020-21 Annual Report wherein her department had set a target of 1 000 labour tenants applications to finalize, but only 108 applications were finalised, even though she had appointed a special master of labour tenants who has been working with her department to expedite the settlement of labour tenants land claim, (a) what total amount did her department spend on appointing the special master and (b) was there value for money in the appointment since her department failed dismally to meet the target of 1 000 claims to be finalised in the 2020-21 financial year?

Reply:

a) The Special Master was appointed by the Land Claims Court and not by the Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development.

b) Falls away.

30 November 2022 - NW3606

Profile picture: Kruger, Mr HC

Kruger, Mr HC to ask the Minister of Small Business Development

Whether her department has made an assessment on the regulatory measures (a) nationally, (b) provincially and (c) on the local government level that might impact negatively on (i) small , medium and micro enterprises and (ii) co-operatives; if not, why not, in each case; if so, what are the (aa) names and (bb) relevant details of all (aaa) legislation and (bbb) regulations that have been assessed to date?”

Reply:

(a)(b)&(c) The Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) has considered nationally, provincially and locally the legislation negatively affecting Small, medium and micro enterprises in South Africa. There are a multitude of legislative and regulatory criteria that small businesses need to comply with, not all of them are “onerous”, but still this provides a good indication that our regulatory frameworks are not well coordinated and synchronised, and are often duplicatory, placing both a cost and time burden on small businesses. The DSBD has prioritised twenty-nine (29) pieces of legislation (including related regulations, and by-laws, etc.) that impact on SMME growth and development. This is summarised in Figure 2 under point number aa&bb.

  1. The twenty-nine (29) pieces of legislation affect informal sector, small, medium micro enterprises and co-operatives across the spectrum.
  2. With regard to co-operatives, we have noted that CIPC reporting under the Co-operatives Development Act, is onerous as most co-operatives are required to submit audited financial statements. That imposes a considerable expense, which does not apply to any other small enterprise. This contrasts with the Company’s Act which has specified thresholds over which enterprises are required to submit audited annual financial statements.

(aa)&(bb) Names of legislation and (bb) relevant details