ATC180529: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on an oversight visit to North West Province from 10 – 15 September 2017, dated 29 May 2018

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES ON AN OVERSIGHT VISIT TO NORTH WEST PROVINCE FROM 10 – 15 SEPTEMBER 2017, DATED 29 MAY 2018
 

The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency having undertaken a joint oversight visit to North West Province from 10 – 15 September 2017, report as follows:

 

1.         INTRODUCTION

 

As per Parliament’s constitutional mandate, the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency undertook a joint oversight visit to North West Province from 10 – 15 September 2017, to oversee the implementation of concurrent activities and/or cross-cutting policy issues (women in agriculture) by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Department of Women in the Presidency including matters related to gender mainstreaming and equality as addressed by the Commission for Gender Equality in the province.   

 

1.1 Delegation

 

The delegation composed of Members from the following Committees:

 

Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: ANC: Ms MR Semenya - Chairperson and leader of the delegation, Mr N Capa, Mr WB Maphanga, Mr PDN Maloyi. DA: Mrs A Steyn, Mr P Van Dalen and AIC: Mr LM Ntshayisa.

 

Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency: ANC: Ms T Memela – Chairperson and leader of the delegation, Ms P Bhengu, Ms Chueu and EFF: Ms MS Khawula, DA: Ms D Robinson.

 

 

1.1.1 Committee Support Officials:

 

The delegation was supported by Ms A Kakaza – Committee Secretary, Ms N Mgxashe – Content Advisor, Mr N Ginindza – Committee Researcher (Fisheries), Ms N Qwabe – Committee Researcher (Agriculture), Ms O Siebritz - Committee Assistant, Ms N Nobatana – Committee Secretary and two assistants to Ms P Bhengu (Member of Parliament), Mr Quinton Mthonti and Mr Boitshepo Kombe.

 

1.2   In attendance

 

The following were in attendance: Chairperson of the Provincial Portfolio Committee on Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development; the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development; Executive Mayor from Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality;, officials from the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; officials from the North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development; officials from the North West Department of Social Development: Office on the Status of Women and Officials from the Commission for Gender Equality.

 

During site visits, the delegation was joined by representatives from Bojanala, Ngaka Modiri Molema and Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipalities, Project Managers, Projects Chairpersons, Councillors from the Local Municipalities, and Officials from the Commission for Gender Equality and the Traditional Leader from Moses Kotane Local Municipality.

2.         TERMS OF REFERENCE

 

2.1 Background

 

The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency undertook a joint oversight visit to North West Province from 10 – 15 September 2017. The purpose of the joint oversight visit was to oversee the implementation of concurrent activities and/or cross-cutting policy issues by the two Government Departments, namely, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Women in the Presidency, as well as the activities of the Commission for Gender Equality in the North West Province.

 

2.2 Objectives of the Joint Oversight Visit

 

The purpose of the joint oversight visit was to oversee:

  1. The implementation of concurrent activities and/or cross-cutting policy issues by the Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Women in the Presidency and the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE);
  2. Progress regarding the development of Agri-Parks and implementation of Agri-Park linked projects;
  3. The implementation of the Agricultural Policy Action Plan (APAP) through the development of commodity value chains;
  4. Implementation of the Fetsa Tlala food production initiative and support that is given to smallholder and subsistence producers to enhance food production at national and household level through programmes such as the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme (CASP) and Ilima/letsema;
  5. Aquaculture development; and
  6. Support provided to smallholder producers and to women’s projects.

 

In addition, the Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency’s aims were:

 

  1. To assess how matters related to complaints from civil society are dealt with at the Commission for Gender Equality’s (CGE) provincial office.
  2. To also assess the special programmes and the role of the Office on the Status of Women within the Department of Social Development in the North West Province. (The delegation also intended to attend the Commission for Gender Equality’s legal clinic in the province).

 

3.         COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

 

3.1 Briefing by the North West Provincial Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (DREAD), Office on the Status of Women in the Provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) and Commission for Gender Equality (CGE).

 

3.1.1 Overview of Agriculture in North West Province

 

The Head of Department (HOD) for the provincial Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ), Dr Poncho Mokaila, gave a brief overview of the agricultural profile of the province including the alignment of the provincial department’s plans with the National Development Plan (NDP). It was reported that North West Province is 70% rural with a population of approximately 3.7 million people (7% of the national total) and an economic growth of 2.9%. The economy of the province depends heavily on mining, which contributes approximately 32% to the provincial economy, followed by manufacturing at approximately 5.6%, then agriculture at approximately 2.9% and construction at 2.6%. In addition, the HOD reported that the province has an unemployment rate of approximately 28.5% with high levels of food insecurity.  Agricultural contribution to the provincial economy is approximately 2% and the median household income is R2 800 compared to R3 260 nationally. The HOD also gave a brief report of the key highlights that the province has achieved during the financial year 2016/17, namely: household food security reforms or establishment of food gardens,  amount allocated for drought relief in the province, response to Fall Army Worm, repeal of old legislation on Agrifund, Donkey Value-chain Enterprise development, pre-feasibility  study on horseracing, crop massification programme, official launch of Springbokpan Grain Value-chain, Tshimo Ya Kgosi programme on development livestock breeding,  improvement on market access, launch of auction pens livestock marketing programme, expansion of Bokone Bophirima Agricultural Growth and Investment Show as an avenue for smallholder farmers, development of agro-processing to support existing cooperatives, Landcare, agricultural education and training, aquaculture and fisheries development and  strengthening of veterinary services for effective disease control and surveillance.

 

In terms of the development of Agri-Parks, it was reported that four (4) District Municipalities have been identified for the development of Agri-Parks in the North West Province, namely, Ngaka Modiri Molema, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati and Bojanala District Municipalities. The focus of the Agri-Parks is to organise and mobilise black farmers and agri-business entrepreneurs and to ensure partnerships between government and the private sector. He reported that the major impact of the Agri-Parks is the implementation of the NDP. The value chain location in North West will be grain for Ngaka Modiri Molema (Springbokpan), red meat and game for Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati (Vryburg), red meat and horticulture for Bojanala (Moretele – Makapanstadt), pork and poultry for Dr Kenneth Kaunda (Maquassi Hills).

 

Dr Mokaila reported that READ has been involved in the establishment of the Springbokpan Grain Value Chain Agri-Park from 2014; and progress thus far include the conclusion of the designs for the master layout, on-site office, warehouse and the foodbank. The construction of a milling plant for milling 5 000 tons/month of maize has started. The HOD further reported that a comprehensive business plan for the Vryburg Agri-Park has been completed and a meeting was held with the Vryburg abattoir, which has been identified as one of the anchors of the Vryburg Agri-Park for a possible partnership. The District Municipality (Dr Ruth Mompati DM) has identified a portion in a farm outside Vryburg to develop Agri-Park activities such as a feed mill and a feedlot. It was also reported that the business plan for farm infrastructure around the Ganyesa area is completed and a business plan for restitution farms identified for the construction of Agri-Parks is being done. He reported that consultation with the Moretele Local Municipality and Traditional Authority on the site establishment, business and production plans for the Moretele Makapanstad Agri-Park have been done. A further meeting was reportedly held with the Makapanstad Traditional Leader, which was followed by a community meeting for, the confirmation of the identified site and construction has already commenced.

 

It was also reported that the Monontsha Feedlot and processing plant are targeted to partner with the Makapanstad Agri-Park; and there is a plan also to incorporate the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) farms around Brits for horticulture as part of the Agri-Park. Maquassi Agri-Park for the broiler and pork value chain is also in progress and possible poultry and pig projects to support the Agri-Park have been identified. The HOD reported that the provincial READ has engaged with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) for further technical support and sourcing of international private and donor funding. In addition, the MEC in the province went on a provincial drive to all the Districts to discuss Agri-Parks initiatives with farmers.

 

Regarding the state of readiness for the planting season, the Chief Director for Farmer Support and Development reported that the Department’s aim to improve grain production in the province is to bring into production a total of 13 hectares as per the medium term target for 2017/18; and will be supported through Ilima-Letsema grant. The Chief Director also mentioned key challenges that are faced by the agricultural sector in the province such as infrastructure backlogs, constrained competitiveness, low profitability, inadequate human resources and skills base for effective and efficient support, research and delivery system, exploitative and unsustainable use of natural resources. Specific challenges facing the development of smallholder farmers were also reported such as production limitations, production inputs, farming practices and lack of access to credit.

 

3.1.2 Presentation by the Office on the Status of Women in the Province

 

The presentation of the Office on the Status of Women within the provincial Department of Social Development focused on the overview of the Department’s structure and functions, Special Programmes, the role of the Office on the Status of Women and key issues affecting women in the Province including demographics under the following subheadings: mortality, unemployment rate, women in senior management service (SMS) level, Gender Focal Points and women and HIV and Aids

 

The Acting Chief Director in the Office on Status of Women indicated that the structure of the Department of Social Development in the Province constitute the following Programmes through which the Department carries out its mandate:

  1. Administration
  2. Social Welfare Services
  3. Children and Families
  4. Restorative Services
  5. Development and Research

 

Special Programmes by the Provincial Office on the Status of Women (OSW)

 

The provincial OSW Special Programmes constitute the following subprogrammes:

  • Office on the Status of Women (OSW)
  • Office on the Rights of the Child
  • Office on the Status of Persons with Disabilities
  • Office on the Rights of Older Persons
  • Poverty Alleviation Strategy Coordination

 

The Acting Chief Director reported that performance indicators for the OSW include:

  • Number of provincial annual programmes of action developed on women’s rights
  • Number of local women’s forums capacitated
  • Number of quarterly oversight reports on women’s issues compiled
  • Number of Ward participatory structures for women established

 

In terms of provincial annual programme of action developed on women’s rights, the presenter indicated that the Office convened the North West Women’s Summit from 26 – 27 September 2016. The theme of the Summit was “women united in moving South Africa forward towards 50/20 and the sub-theme were as follows:

  • Governance, Education and Training
  • Agriculture, Culture and Tourism
  • Mining, Construction, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Textile Industries
  • Access to Land and Basic services

 

The Summit was attended by a diverse group of stakeholders and received presentations from, among others South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI); Mahikeng Local Women’s Forum; and Departments of Mineral Resources, Social Development and Rural Development and Land Reform as well as the Provincial Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development.

 

The OSW indicated that 19 Local Women Forums were capacitated during 2016/17 and it plans to establish Ward Participatory Structures during 2017/18. The presentation also gave an overview of its activities in respect of the Human Rights Priority Programme and Gender Focal Persons; and also gave reports on:

  • HIV and AIDS and young women.
  • Women in education and women entrepreneurs.
  • Women and poverty.

 

3.1.3 Presentation by the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) in the Province

 

The Provincial Coordinator responsible for North West Province gave a presentation on behalf of the CGE in the province. The presentation focused on the mandate of the CGE, staff component, Ratlou teenage pregnancy, Public Education and Information (PEI) programmes, Legal Department, radio slots, challenges and achievements. The Coordinator indicated that the Commission operates with 4 staff members as follows: Provincial Coordinator, Provincial Education Officer, Office Administrator and Office Assistant and two Commissioners responsible for the Province with the Commissioner responsible for North West Province and a back- up Commissioner.

 

The Provincial Coordinator highlighted the following activities that have been undertaken by the Commission during 2016/17:

  • Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission and the North West House of Traditional Leaders which clarifies the role and functions in addressing gender equality in villages in the Province.
  • Assisted Eskom Women Advancement programme in the Province particularly focusing on mainstreaming gender into their planning and programmes and projects in Klerksdorp and Rustenburg.
  • Efforts of the Victim Empowerment (VEP) Task Team in the Province that ensured full implementation of the victim–centred approach by Government (Police, Social Development, Correctional Services, Health and Justice).
  • Establishment of the Provincial Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Task Team and the Rapid Response Team, which held public awareness sessions on trafficking.
  • Coordination and presentations on several key events such as Bokone Bophirima Provincial Implementation Plan on HIV, STIs and TB (2017-2022).
  • High levels of teenage pregnancies and the plight of teenage girls Ratlou Local Municipality. The area has no basic infrastructure and services, has high levels of unemployment and most of the affected teenagers came from poverty stricken families.
  • The activities of the Public Education and Information (PEI) programme, which is responsible for coordination of stakeholder engagement sessions every quarter as per the CGE’s 2016/17 Annual performance Plan (APP).
  • Report on the activities of the CGE’s Legal Department in the Province highlighting its achievements in 2016/17 and limitations and challenges. Major among the latter was human capacity, where there was one legal officer to a population of approximately 3.67 million persons (on average) and no specific legal administrative personnel. This results in the lack of visibility of the CGE before the lower courts. The CGE also recognised that most complainants are reactive, although they consult with the Legal Office and are given advice, victims do not report cases and wait until the situation worsens.

 

3.2        SITE VISITS

 

During the oversight visit, the delegation visited several agricultural projects, met with the North West Provincial Legislature and attended the CGE’s Legal Clinic (10 – 15 September 2017). The following projects were visited:

           

Bojanala District Municipality

 

3.2.1 Tlhabologang Abattoir (Moses Kotane Local Municipality)

 

The Tlhabologang Red Meat abattoir is situated at Mabeskraal, under the jurisdiction of Moses Kotane Local Municipality within Bojanala Platinum District, in the North West Province. It is on communal land that has been acquired through the Traditional Authority. Tlhabologang Red Meat abattoir comprises of 5 members (2 adult males, 1 adult female and 2 youths (1 male and 1 female)). The Traditional Authority allocated 2 hectares (ha) to the beneficiaries to start the business and only 1 ha will be used to establish the abattoir and the remaining hectare will be used in the near future. The objective of the abattoir is to supply local butcheries and Government-led markets around Bokone Bophirima with red meat; and also aims to create 10 permanent and 25 temporary job opportunities. The project will form part of Agri-Parks to support the livestock sector. There are approximately 38 livestock farmers around the area that will utilise the abattoir.

 

The project was supported through the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme (CASP) with an amount of R5 million in the 2015/16 financial year. Some of the money (R450 000) was spent on de-bushing and installation of a palisade fencing while the rest of the money was reprioritised for drought relief. In 2016/17, the project was supported with an amount of R8 million for the construction of phase 1 of the abattoir structure and in 2017/18 it was again supported with an amount of R5 million for the construction of change rooms, butchery, cattle pens, access road, off-loading ramp, water and waste drainage system, installation and commissioning of 20 cattle/day slaughtering equipment, production inputs (cattle), backup generator, 3-in-1 printer, desktop and protective clothing. The provincial READ plans to finish the project in the current financial year and launch it in 2018.

 

The main challenge that was raised was insufficient budget to finish the project.

 

3.2.2 Moses Kotane Crop Production (Moses Kotane Local Municipality)

 

The project is a family cooperative that was initiated by thirteen (13) farmers without any Government support on communal land that is rented from the local Communal Property Association (CPA) with the support of the local Traditional Leadership. The total extent of the land is 944 ha but not all of it is under production. The main objective of the project is to produce field crops and to utilise the land in a sustainable manner to alleviate poverty and create jobs (both permanent and temporary) in the surrounding communities. The cooperative is currently planting sunflower for sale and its future plans include agroprocessing. In the past three years the area went through a dry spell, which severely affected production and significantly reduced harvest due to the dry conditions and above average temperatures.The conditions forced the cooperative members to seek assistance from the provincial Department of Agriculture (READ). In 2017/18, an amount of R2 million is allocated to the project and is mainly used for the provision of production inputs such as seeds, diesel and pesticides.

 

In addition to the drought, some of the challenges that were highlighted by the cooperative members include access to markets (the closest one is 40km away), transportation of production, road to access the area, army worm infestation and mechanisation.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) reported to the delegation that it is planning to bring the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) to assist the project on business planning, plant pest control and training on bee farming as the area has lots of bees.  

3.2.3 Groot Marico Vegetables (Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality)

 

The Groot Marico vegetable project is situated in Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality 45km away from Zeerust Town. It was started in 1997 by the Provincial Department of Social Development with assistance from the former University of Potchefstroom (now North West University) after it did a study in the area. The main objective of the project was to alleviate poverty in the area. Funding at the time came from various sources including the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). The project also went through various beneficiaries who for different reasons could not cope and left the project. Chief among the challenges that led to its failure was unavailability of water and conflicts with neighbouring farmers. The project was resuscitated by the current beneficiaries (6 males and 4 females) in 2009.

 

The provincial READ started funding the project in 2014/15 with an amount of R2.7 million.  The money was used for renovation of the store room, cold room, buying production inputs and construction of ten tunnels. The main produce is tomatoes that are grown in ten (10) tunnels as well as sugar beans and chillies in the rest of the land. The beneficiaries are selling their produce according to season and their main market is Swartruggens in Zeerust as well as surrounding villages and townships. The project employs six temporary workers.

 

The challenges that were raised by the project beneficiaries were:

  • Lack of water rights. To address water shortage, the beneficiaries have constructed a catchment dam themselves as they have been struggling to get assistance from Government in this regard.
  • Poor water quality – sewerage contamination.
  • Transport – projects need a 5-ton truck to take its produce to the market.
  • Project branding and packaging of produce.
  • Electricity connection.
  • Theft.
  • Formal business training – beneficiaries indicated that they were only told what has been allocated to the project but everything is done by a service provider called Agridelight, who does not consult or involve them. Therefore, cannot account for Government expenditure on the project as they do not have evidence.

 

The project’s future plans include buying their own truck, increasing production in order to maximise income, construction of ablution block and renovating the store room according to South African Good Agricultural Practice (SA-GAP) standards. All these plans have been included in the 2018/19 project list for possible funding to address identified challenges and future plans.

 

Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality

 

3.2.4 Lebone Vegetables (Mahikeng Local Municipality)

 

Lebone (or Lekena) Vegetables is a family project in Ramatlabama in Mahikeng Local Municipality under Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality. The vegetable garden was initiated by Ms Lebone Lekena who is a female farmer, from 5 ha of land that was allocated by the local Traditional Leader in 2014. The project has four (4) beneficiaries, two (2) females and two (2) males. The provincial Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ) started intervening in the project in 2015/16 with a mini-tunnel worth R4 000. The project has since been supported with the construction of a reservoir, provision of 2 water tanks and fencing for 2 ha, irrigation for 1 ha and electricity. It is a primary vegetable production project that produces cabbage, spinach, carrots, beetroot and beans. Its market is Boxer Supermarket, Tag Supermarket, Fresh Hub Market, Farmers Market as well as local and nearby communities (Schools and Pension Pay-outs).

 

The project has employed four (4) permanent workers and from time to time, two (2) temporary workers. The provincial READ is responsible for assisting the beneficiaries with technical support and training. Ms Lekena has attended a two-week vegetable production basic course organised by READ in March 2016; and in 2017, has won the 2017 Best Subsistence Producer, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) Female Entrepreneur Award in the Province.

 

The project needs further assistance with a shade net to expand the existing one, a cold storage and packaging rooms and mechanisation. Regarding mechanisation, READ assured the delegation that they will assist the project with a tractor during 2017/18.

The project’s future plans include expansion as there is still land available and to get a formal and export market to Botswana. Ms Lekena has been selected by READ’s Marketing Unit to participate in the SA-GAP Certification Programme in partnership with DAFF and the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB). An ablution block and storage facility will be constructed in 2018/19.

3.2.5 Kopanelo Beef (Mahikeng Local Municipality)

 

The Kopanelo Beef is situated at Madibe-Makgabana village and falls under the jurisdiction of Mahikeng Local Municipality in Ngaka Modiri Molema District. The project consists of four beneficiaries Mr J. S. Manyedi, his wife and two sons. The family has registered a close cooperation called Kopanelo Farming cc. Kopanelo Farming cc acquired the 271 ha farm from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform though the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) in 2007. The family took a bank loan to pay for the farm (R300 000) and are also leasing an additional 180 ha of which 30 ha is used to plant maize to supplement livestock grazing. The farm is primarily for livestock production with a fluctuating herd of cattle, goats, sheep, indigenous chicken, horses and donkeys. Mr Manyedi started farming with 1 cow and now has 96 Bonsmara cattle (94 cows and 2 bulls), 64 goats and 24 chickens. The farm employs three (3) permanent workers.

 

The farm receives technical support from the provincial Department in terms of extension and veterinary services; and also participates in the ARC’s Kaonafatso ya Dikgomo (KyD) programme. The market for livestock is auctions, Karoo-Osche in Vryburg and Burhsmansdrift, Stella Abattoir and private sales for breeding bulls. The farm has 3 boreholes, one windmill, cattle handling facilities and a store room. The farmer has fenced the farm himself.  

 

The challenges that were highlighted by the farmer were overstocking, lack of a formal and established local market, periodic drought spells, theft and difficulty in accessing more land for expansion. Future plans include registering as a Bonsmara Stud Breeder, drilling additional boreholes for planted pastures and accessing export markets.

 

3.2.6 Sehloho/Bakoena Agricultural Milling (Tswaing Local Municipality)

 

The Sehloho/Bakoena Agricultural Production, trading as Bakoena Milling, is a legally registered private company that is owned and managed by members of the Sehloho families.  It is situated in Mofufutso 1 village in the Tswaing Local Municipality of the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality in the North West Province. It was established more than 20 years ago and there is a great deal of experience that has been gained over that period. Through this experience, the Mill has established a solid and reliable clientele in the village and other surrounding villages. The core business is grain production with the emphasis on maize milling to produce maize meal. The cooperative source maize from the local emerging farmers, process it and resell it back to the communities at a marked up price.

 

The project received a funding amount of R1.5 million during the 2016/17 financial year from READ and spent approximately R1.3 million on the procurement of a 100KvA generator, maize master milling machinery, 35-ton storage silos and business branding. The highlighted challenges include:

  • Dependence on informal markets in the surrounding community.
  • Farmers not complying with norms and standards.
  • Poor electricity capacity.
  • High fuel running costs for generator.
  • Insufficient funds to complete the milling structure.

 

For its future plans, the Bakoena Milling has requested READ to assist with an installation of an ESKOM 3-phase electricity with a 150KvA transformer to strengthen electricity capacity; plans to produce a variety of maize products including samp, maize rice and white and yellow grits; and to expand their market to include among others, school feeding schemes, clinics, hospitals, local retailers and private individuals.

 

3.2.7 Tswelelopele Fishery Project (Tswaing Local Municipality)

 

The Tswelelopele Fisheries Project is situated at Baberspan farm and falls under the jurisdiction of Tswaing Local Municipality in Ngaka Modiri Molema District. The project has 12 participants (7 males and 5 females) from Sannieshof and neighbouring Delareyville. The project participants started fishing in the dam/salt pan in 2015 and approached READ to assist them with fishing equipment and permits as the dam is within a Nature Reserve.  The beneficiaries have fishing permits for food security purposes from the provincial Department of Environment, which is responsible for the management of the Nature Reserve. They catch an average of 16 fish (estimated weight of 1.8 to 2kg) per day during summer and about 9 in winter.  The caught fish is for consumption and sale, mainly for food security as per the agreement with the Department of Environment. Fish is sold in the informal markets including passing motorists and local communities from Delareyville and Sannieshof towns, who also buy directly from the project. The fish sale price varies from R30 to R100 depending on size irrespective of species caught. Pricing is estimated by members without weighing fish or a pricing schedule.

 

At the time of the oversight visit, the project has been put on hold since July 2017 as participants could not afford the R75 access fee that is required to gain entry into the Nature Reserve. Other highlighted challenges were:

  • Participants only catch warm water species such as common carp, catfish, tilapia and fish activity is very slow in winter, thus reducing catches during the winter months.
  • Registration certificate of the project as a cooperative still outstanding.
  • Incorrect equipment bought for participants (non-motorised boat and freezer) – need to be exchanged.
  • Lack of skills
  • Lack of formal markets & transport
  • Project operating on land that is not officially permitted for commercial utilisation.

 

Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality

 

3.2.8 Doornpan Mixed Farming Project (Maquassi Hills Local Municipality)

 

The Doornpan Mixed Farming Project is farm that was acquired through PLAS and is leased out by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) to Mr Katlego Gaoraelwe for R245 000 per annum. The Directors of Doornpan are Mr Katlego Gaoraelwe and Mrs Onalenna Seriri (a nominated director of the investing partner) and started farming in the farm in 2014 The total extent of the farm is 866 ha including the farm house and the farmer is also leasing an additional 300 ha from a neighbouring farmer. Approximately 750 ha of land is planted (550 ha maize and 200 ha groundnuts).

 

The farmer operates a broiler, sheep, cattle and maize production, as well as a feed mill with a capacity of 880 tons per month. Some of the produce from the farm is used in the manufacturing of feeds in the mill and the rest is sold in the open market. The farmer is also selling animal feed to individual farmers for pigs, chickens, sheep and cattle. The farm has 300 Stud Dormer ewes and 10 Stud Dormer ram. It produces 90 000 broilers in a 32-day cycle and is contracted to Supreme. The farm also has 100 cattle that are fattened on a feedlot for 3 months before they are sent to a butchery in Taung, which also belongs to the farmer. The farm has 35 permanent employees (6 females and 29 males), 35 temporary employees (women) and 5 occasional people for off-loading when delivering feed in various areas.

 

During 2014/15 financial year the project received funding from READ and spent R704 000.00 on crop production inputs for 80 ha and for funding received in the 2015/16 financial year the project spent R1 499 361.32 on crop production inputs for 200 ha.

 

The main challenges are water rights and high inputs costs. The farmer indicated that despite being 3 km from the Vaal River, even the previous farm owner had no water rights. He indicated that he has been offered an additional 500 ha of land to lease in Free State for planting but will be unable to use it due to lack of water rights. The farmer indicated to the delegation that he has been applying for water rights without much success and is now applying to the Bloem Water Board.

 

3.2.9 Thusano Communal Property Association (CPA) Project (Maquassi Hills Local Municipality)

 

The project was established in 2001. It is a restitution settlement project funded by the DRDLR with an amount of R608 000. It has six (6) beneficiaries that were previously farm workers in the farm. The project is on the farm, Klipfontein 100HP, in the Leeudoringstad area. The farm extent is 248.94 ha where 100 ha is arable land and 148 ha is for grazing and the rest if where the houses, store room and dairy facility are situated.  It was reported that the project previously received implements and a tractor from the provincial department (READ). The beneficiaries are farming with dual purpose breed cattle and will concentrate on maize production for the coming cropping season.

 

The main challenges that were highlighted were high inputs costs, high electricity bill, poor yield for both sunflower and maize and access to water.

The original farm house, which is fenced with an electrical fence, does not form part of the portion that has been restituted to the CPA and the delegation could not access it and the dairy facility. The beneficiaries indicated that the Department drilled a borehole for the project but they have no access to the borehole as it is part of the electrically fenced farm house.

3.2.10 Motloung Piggery (Tlokwe Local Municipality)

 

The Motloung Piggery is a family project that is situated in Droogespruit on resettled land of Barolong Boo Modiboa, which were resettled in 2006. The farm extent is 248 hectares (ha). The project was initiated by the Motloung family and comprises of 2 male members (1 youth and 1 adult). Because of his love for agriculture, Mr Motloung started to keep pigs, which he was selling at the Potchefstroom auction and at the Syferfontein abattoir.

 

The family is operating with 30-40 sows and the future plan is to have 100 to 150 sows. The project is currently breeding the Duroc and the Large White and selling weaners (3-4 months old piglets) at slaughter weight and also producing vegetables on a 1-hectare plot. Its market is mostly auctions and the general public. It employs 3 permanent workers who are responsible for record keeping, cleaning of the structure and feeding of pigs as well as vegetable garden. In addition to the piggery, the Motloung family also have 10 goats, 104 African fowls and 16 cattle.

 

Mr Motloung reported that he received funding form Government during 2015/16 but reported that Departments do not consult them as farmers or beneficiaries on their needs. He highlighted that as a result, Government wastes a lot of money on service providers for work that farmers and/or beneficiaries could have done for less. He reported that a service provider was paid almost R2 million (R1 535 754) by the provincial Department to construct a 20-sow unit with a loading ramp that he could have built for R800 000. The project also received R762 775 funding during the 2016/17 financial year, and R754 490.60 was spent on the purchase of 20 pregnant sows, pig feed and movable loading ramp and kraals.

 

The project beneficiaries reported high production inputs costs and access to market as main challenges.  Mr Motloung reported that the project was currently mixing its own feed to reduce costs and plans to use alternative energy sources e.g. solar. Its future plan is to produce and export quality white meat; and to have a secure market.

 

3.2.11 Cetiso Farming (Tlokwe Local Municipality)

 

The Cetiso project is situated at Plot No 58 IQ of Mooibank.  The beneficiaries obtained the farm through the Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development (LRAD) programme and started farming in in the 2010/11 financial year. The farm was bought for R800 000 and is 12.5 ha in extent. It has 6 beneficiaries (2 adult females, 1 adult male and 2 female youth) and 1 permanent worker. The farm had no farming infrastructure except the farm house and there was also no electricity. The provincial READ provided the beneficiaries with farming infrastructure, solar panels and a borehole with a Jojo tank. The beneficiaries started farming with vegetables; and now also have 14 cattle and 29 sheep.

 

The challenges that were highlighted include commitment from beneficiaries as not all are committed to the farm, water availability as the water pan is leaking, unavailability of formal markets and slow scale of production.

 

The beneficiaries plan to remove cattle from the farm as the carrying capacity is very low. The main focus will be vegetables and to some extent, pigs and sheep.   

 

3.2.12 Itumeleng Taje Project (Ventersdorp Local Municipality)

 

Mr Itumeleng Taje acquired the farm through the PLAS programme of the DRDLR in 2009. He is leasing it for R35 000 per year. He is the only beneficiary on the farm and has 6 permanent employees and 20 casual workers that are needed during harvesting. All the workers are paid more than the minimum wage. He has a 5-year lease and is applying for its extension after expiry for at least 30 years. The extent of the original farm was 330 ha and 215 ha of which was planted with cash crops (maize and sunflower) and the rest for grazing for 40 mixed breed cattle. In 2011, the DRDLR was impressed with his progress and extended the land area and he now operates on approximately 1 200 ha (450 ha arable land and 750 ha grazing). He currently has 280 beef cattle, 85 sheep and 10 Landrace pigs. The farmer receives an annual turnover of approximately R5.4 million (R4 million from crop production and R1.4 million from cattle) but has been affected by the recent drought. He keeps his own business records and outsource bookkeeping.  In 2016, Mr Taje received the Top Commercial Farmer Youth Award.  

 

The main challenges are the cost of production inputs (fertiliser), storage facility for maize, khaki bush (Tagetes minuta) infestation, high maintenance costs of equipment (currently working with old equipment that breaks regularly) and persistent drought.

 

His future plans include doing a business management training; having a more permanent contract on more than 1 000 ha; supplying export markets; and mentoring youth and other developing farmers. READ reported that they have identified Mr Taje as one of the farmers who will be included in the black farmers commercialisation programme.

 

3.2.13 Appledraai Agricultural Primary Cooperative (Ventersdorp Local           Municipality)

 

Appledraai Agricultural Primary Cooperative was started in 2007 by 10 members (8 females (4 are youth and 1 is disabled) and 2 males). It registered as a vegetable cooperative in 2008 and was funded by the provincial Department of Social Development in 2010 with R1.79 million.   The project members started the project by contributing an amount of R45 each towards the start-up capital and with the intention of selling their produce to the communities and local markets as a way of earning a living.

 

The project has 4 hectares in which they plant cabbage, spinach, onions, beetroot, carrots. They are selling the produce to OK Foods, Spar, Motaung Primary, Kgololosego Intermediary School and local villages. The project managed to create 12 jobs (10 permanent and 2 casual workers). These members are involved in the day to day operations of the project, which is mainly vegetable production. The project received R240 000 from READ for installation of sprinkler irrigation and supply of pesticides.

 

The main challenges that were highlighted include high inputs costs, high electricity cost, low returns due to the challenges and securing other markets for the production.

 

3.2.14 Sekwenyane Farming (Tlokwe Local Municipality)

 

The project was established in 2011 by Mr. Sekwenyane, after acquiring the farm from the DRDLR through the PLAS programme. The farm is portion 34 and 36 of the farm Welgegund 375 IQ. Before he got the farm Mr. Sekwenyane had been farming in Matlwang village with cattle that he bought after he took his package in the mines where he was working. He also manages a butchery in Matlosane as an additional business. The farm extent is 862 ha of which 110 ha is arable land under irrigation (field crops), 696 ha natural veld for livestock and 52 ha is planted pastures. The farm has 100 cattle with a carrying capacity of 6 ha per livestock unit (LSU); 30 sheep; 30 goats; 5 horses; 40 ha of lucerne under irrigation and 100 ha with maize crop. The farm has 5 permanent workers.

 

The farm has water rights with 5 boreholes and 5 centre pivots to irrigate a total of 110 ha. The farm has two 120 Kw tractors and other implements that are required for all other operations. The project received R115 000 from READ for maize seeds for 60 ha under irrigation during 2014/15 and in 2016/17 an additional R1.5 million for maize seeds for 100 ha (under irrigation), supply of herbicides and pesticides, supply of diesel, oil and lubricants for tractor. The farmer was requested to attend a crop production course that included record keeping during 2016/17 but he could not attend as he is very busy in the farm.  

 

The main challenges that were highlighted include high production inputs costs, persistent drought, high electricity costs, record keeping skills and high maintenance of machinery and equipment.

 

3.3        Legal Clinic: Commission for Gender Equality (Tlokwe Local Municipality)

 

The Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency visited the Legal Clinic in the Tlokwe Local Municipality arranged by the CGE

 

Issues highlighted at the Legal Clinics that were held in the Province were:  

  • Access to basic services such as water and electricity.
  • Sexual abuse cases of women, children and the elderly.
  • Cases of incest.  
  • Violations of rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.

 

3.4        Reflection and way forward

 

On the last day of the oversight visit the delegation met with the North West Provincial Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ), the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), Executive Mayor, Cllr Kgotso Khumalo, Tlokwe Local Municipality and the representatives from the Local Economic Development (LED) Units and the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE).  

 

The delegation was not satisfied with some of the responses from the provincial READ in its Action Plan regarding the challenges that were identified during project visits. In addition, the Action Plan made references to Annexures, which were not provided to the delegation.  The Department then made copies of the Annexures while the meeting continued but Members of the delegation did not have time to go through the thick file. Due to time constraints, the delegation agreed that the Departments should submit to Parliament a comprehensive written report on all outstanding issues with a time-framed Action Plan to address the challenges that have been observed and other issues that were highlighted, by the end of November 2017. The report should also include specific project information that could not be responded to during site visits.

 

  1.      COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS AND FINDINGS

                                                     

The delegation of the Joint Portfolio Committees, having interacted with the North West Provincial Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development including the MEC, the projects management teams and the beneficiaries of the different projects, made the following observations:

 

  1. Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ)

 

  1. Inadequate intergovernmental relations (IGR) between the provincial department of READ, other provincial departments and national departments such as the DRDLR and the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), as well as poor stakeholder engagement. Due to lack of IGR, post-settlement challenges in most land reform projects (LRAD and PLAS) could not be addressed; progress in most projects was constrained by access to water (READ could not assist farmers to obtain water rights); and a fishery project could not take off due to misunderstandings between the provincial Department of Agriculture and the provincial Department of Environment.  

 

  1. The utilisation of one service provider, Agridelight, as an implementing agent for all provincial projects without consultation with project beneficiaries, some of whom may have more farming knowledge and experience than the service provider. This has led to overpricing and unaccountability with respect to project funding.

 

  1. Poor capacity building and skills development of beneficiaries to ensure that they are fully capable of managing all aspects of their projects/businesses without dependence on Government or service providers. For most projects, reports were done by Department officials instead of project beneficiaries.

 

  1.  Lack of off-farm (e.g. roads) and on-farm infrastructure and access to formal markets remains the biggest challenge for most projects.

 

  1. Access to electricity and high electricity and other production input costs.

 

  1. Lack of time-frames for project completion and exit strategies for each Government-funded project.

 

  1. No clear linkage or alignment of some of the projects with the Agricultural Policy Action Plan (APAP) and municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs).

 

  1. Lack of feasibility studies or assessment prior to project implementation (e.g. Groot Marico) including lack of monitoring and evaluation (M & E) by both DAFF and the provincial department of READ to ensure value for money is received for grant funding (CASP & Ilima/Letsema) that has been transferred to projects.  

 

  1. Office on the Status of Women (OSW)

 

  1. Resolutions of the Women’s Summit that was reportedly held on 26-27 September 2016 were not presented for the Committee to enable follow up by the oversight bodies.

 

  1. The lower level location of the Gender Focal Persons in different departments i.e. Deputy-Director level.

 

  1. Key challenges facing women in mining and how these are addressed were not highlighted although it was indicated that a presentation on women in mining was presented in the Women’s Summit that was held on 26-27 September 2016.  

 

  1. The provincial OSW does not have specific programmes with time frames to empower women in particular.
  2.        RECOMMENDATIONS

 

After interacting with the North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ), the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) and Office on the Status of Women (OSW) in the North West Department of Social Development, the Committees made the following recommendations:  

 

  1. Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the North West     Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ)

 

  1. The provincial department of READ should submit to Parliament by the end of

November 2017, a comprehensive written report of interventions on all outstanding issues with a time-framed Action Plan to address the challenges that have been observed and other issues that were highlighted by the delegation during the oversight visit including the use of Agridelight as a service provider for all projects. The Action Plan should also show how remedial actions are linked with APAP/RAAVC and the MTSF. The report has since been submitted.

 

  1. READ should submit to Parliament by the end of June 2018, the list of the 50 black farmers that will be commercialised; and in the absence of a National Policy on Comprehensive Producer Support, READ should develop an Exit Strategy Plan for all the projects that it supports particularly the commercialisation of 50 black farmers project.

 

  1. DAFF should submit to Parliament, by the end of June 2018, the list (with full details) of the 450 black farmers that are going to be commercialised during 2017/18 in all provinces including a 10-year plan on how these farmers will be assisted.

 

  1. DAFF should submit to Parliament by the end of July 2018, an Action Plan on how it is assisting, or plans to assist, smallholder producers with market access in all provinces.

 

 

  1.       Office on the Status of Women

 

  1. Engage with Departments to ensure that all Gender Focal Persons are placed at the decision making level of management. Report on progress to Parliament by August 2018.

 

  1. Develop programmes with time frames that specifically address women’s challenges and also facilitate women’s empowerment in the Province. Report on progress to Parliament by August 2018.

 

  1. Submit to Parliament by July 2018, the resolutions of the Women’s Summit that was held in September 2016 including issues that are faced by women in mining.

 

 

Report to be considered.                

 

 

 

 

 

 

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